Hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers, the annual award ceremony celebrates excellence and innovation in civil engineering projects across the West Midlands, UK. FINDIT won the ‘Studies & Research’ award, which aims to recognise conceptual ideas that have been developed through study and research, and have been instigated to solve an industry problem or challenge.
The FINDIT collaboration, led by RSK’s geophysics team, has combined years of collective experience and new research into a revolutionary sub-street mapping system that locates buried utilities more accurately, indicates their condition and provides engineering information about the surrounding ground.
The project packages the innovations the project team has developed into a commercial product that has been demonstrated at BT’s research test site. The team has developed non-destructive methods to detect factors critical to the maintenance and development of subsurface infrastructure, including blockages, space limitations in the ground and damage to services by ground collapse or disturbance. Identifying damage or blockages in pipes or ducts that limit their capacity has been an enormous problem. Currently, geophysical sensors are used to detect the location of buried infrastructure and typically, flexible rods or cameras are pushed through to identify any blockage’s location. Until now, however, there has been no reliable method for detecting these critical aspects without intervention.
The FINDIT project now enables utility owners to assess accurately, using rapid, non-destructive mapping, the factors that affect the condition and long-term stability of their assets for the first time.
The project team found out they had been successful at the ICE bicentenary awards ceremony, held at the International Convention Centre in Birmingham, UK, on 9 May. Over 250 built environment professionals gathered to hear the winners of the 14 award categories announced. The innovative project also won the ‘Best Collaborative Work’ award at the 2017 Street Works UK Awards in November.
As a showcase of the most innovative, creative and sustainable contributions to the physical and social environment, the award reflects RSK’s culture of innovation, which recently saw 31 entries from across the group submitted for RSK’s first Innovation Awards. It also represents the growing recognition for RSK’s leading collaborative research industry-wide.
George Tuckwell, RSK geosciences and engineering divisional director, comments, “This is an excellent example of where collaborative research has been able to directly solve a client’s problem, and has captured the imagination of the buried utilities and streetworks industry.”
For more information, please see the digital version of awards supplement in the Birmingham Post, p.5 and p.10.