Catz Engineers Win Crampton Prize for Practical Geotechnical Engineering

Professor Byron Byrne, Fellow in Engineering Science, and former Catz colleagues Dr Brian Sheil (former Junior Research Fellow) and Dr Ronan Royston (former DPhil student) were recently honoured at the Institution of Civil Engineers, winning the Crampton Prize, for the best paper published by the Institution in 2022 on practical geotechnical engineering.

The award focused on doctoral research carried out by Royston, supervised by Byrne and Sheil, in partnership with the civil engineering contractor Ward and Burke Construction Ltd, with an emphasis on the instrumentation and monitoring during the construction of large diameter concrete caisson shafts. These are significant civil engineering constructions, typically of diameter 30 m and often sunk 20 m into the ground, following which they are used as underground water storage and attenuation tanks, pumping stations or as part of waste-water treatment works. The project involved developing and installing new instrumentation systems to allow the monitoring and control of the caisson settlement and tilt during installation. Measurements were also made of the soil stresses around and below the caisson to identify how these are modified by the controlled use of polymer lubricants during construction. The research provides new understanding of the caisson-soil interaction, underpinning new methods for design and construction of these very important components of civil engineering infrastructure.

The paper is titled “Monitoring the construction of a large-diameter caisson in sand” and can be downloaded as open access from the ICE Virtual Library.

We extend our congratulations to Professor Byrne, Dr Sheil and Dr Royston.