C23 Awards 2022 – Announcing the Winners

The inaugural C23 Awards, held at Silverstone Race Circuit on Thursday 17 November, was an opportunity to reward, recognise and celebrate the inspirational and hard-working people who are building the 50-mile central section of Britain’s new high speed railway.

More than 400 people from around the project, near and far, including HS2, design partner, ASC, and our extensive group of supply chain partners, came together for an evening of networking, presentations, awards, and dining and dancing.


EKFB’s Managing Director, Helen Samuels, who hosted the event, said:

“First and foremost, on behalf of the senior leadership team at C23, and our respective boards, I’d like to congratulate our shortlisted and highly commended entries, and of course, our worthy group of winners.


“This awards celebration is key, as we approach the end of a momentous year of delivery, to take some time to recognise the exceptional work our people are carrying out across our line of route.


“It’s been challenging at times, which is to be expected of a complex project of this magnitude – some of our works have never been done in the UK before – that’s what makes our remit challenging, but also exciting and highly rewarding. I’m immensely proud of everyone. I also had the real privilege of awarding the L3 Design Leads, Alasdair Hassan, Jose Candel and Melissa Reynard, with the MD Choice Award for exceptional, above and beyond work in delivering design and assurance. This does not, of course, detract from the achievement of all of our winners, who I know gave our tremendous panel of judges a run for their money.

“Overall, the evening was a great success and I’d like to also thank our 400-strong guests who brought so much energy to the evening. Until next time!”


EKFB’s Programme Director, Emmanuel Rossignol, said:


“The theme of the event is ‘Inspiring Infrastructure’ and everyone who attended the event, and their teams back on site, have demonstrated this through their work over the past two years.


“With this in mind, let’s all continue to work individually and collectively to this KPI: Keeping People Inspired.


“Inspiring is what we’re doing as a fully integrated project team; building super structures with a conscious effort to reduce our carbon footprint, increase efficiency and maintain a high level of safety are at the forefront of our culture and it makes me proud to be in a position where we can recognise those people and those teams who are working hard every day through an event such as this. Congratulations to everyone involved.”


EKFB is proud to announce the Shortlisted and Highly Commended nominations, and the winners for 2022 as follows:


Best Design Initiative


The Winner:

  • The Ground Engineering Team, for ‘SMUG’ Development and Implementation The Strategy of Managing Uncertainty in Ground conditions framework ensures design development and a clear route to L3 sign off for work packages impacted by delays in Ground Investigations.


Highly Commended:

  • The Green Tunnel Design Team

  • The FC Civils Solutions Team

Shortlisted:

  • Power Electrics, Containagen for its safer, quieter and cleaner on-site Generators

  • The Calvert Area Team for Sheephouse Wood Bat Protection Structure Design

Best Environmental Sustainability Initiative

The Winner:

  • Blackwell Earthmoving Ltd for developing and implementing a conveyor system comprising 5 conveyors as an alternative to road haulage in the North Chilterns Area. Significant benefits include cost savings, reduction in environmental impact and improved road safety.

Highly Commended:

  • EKFB Ground Engineering Team for Geotechnical Strategic Optimisations and Efficiencies

  • The Re-use of excavated materials initiative developed by Rob Haskell and team

Shortlisted:

  • Flannery Plant Hire for its Eco-Operator Course to reduce idle times of machines on site and improve machine use

  • Aylesbury Area Structures Team for reducing environmental impacts on the A41 Overbridge build

Best On-Site Supplier

The Winner:

  • Plantforce, for delivering the high standards of service for the provision of reliable, efficient and productive plant and machinery in addition to highly skilled operators. With a focus on innovation, sustainability and skills and employment, Plantforce also supports the mental health charity, Lighthouse.

Highly Commended:

  • Bauer Keller JV, for its work at Wendover Dean Viaduct in the North Chilterns Area

  • PAM Occupational Health Team for implementing a route wide testing programme during COVID

Shortlisted:

  • ASC Construction Services Team, the interface between the Detailed Design Team and the Construction Delivery Team, and much more.

Best SHWQ Initiative

The Winner:

  • ELITE, created by Active Training Team (ATT) for EKFB, ELITE@EKFB is a one-day multi-media induction programme that gives participants a lasting awareness of their responsibility for upholding the values of the C23 programme, using high-quality production, industry-leading technology, and a hard-hitting narrative to deliver a powerful immersive experience.

Highly Commended:

  • ASC System Safety team for its guidance on a range of safety focussed activities as an integral element of design management.

  • MySpace Stations, introduced by the North Chilterns Team, is an outdoor office space for Operatives and visitors to be briefed.


Shortlisted:

  • Z-Cards, developed by the North Chilterns Team, Z-cards are multi-faceted leaflets with information for visitors and new starters, handed out at inductions.

  • FRG & EKFB Security Upskilling & Rapid Response training initiative that ensures rapid response to incidents on site and in the local area.  

Best social value initiative The Winner:

  • Booker Park SEND School project team: Booker Park School is a SEND primary school that looks after children with complex needs Located next to our Princes Risborough to Aylesbury blockade works. The team worked with stakeholders to change the working pattern to night shifts, removing any immediate impacts to the children, and also dedicated 500 volunteering hours to create a permanent forest school for the children.

Highly Commended:

  • Quainton primary school engagement for its collaborative approach to creating an outdoor area for school children.

Shortlisted:

  • Chipping Warden safety day for its interactive learning and engagement day for 100 children aged 4 to 11.

Best Make It Count Initiative

The Winner:

  • Mobile Visitor Centre (MVC). The launch of the MVC has made every minute of public engagement more useful, informative, and accessible for communities, especially those located in rural areas. The MVC has increased engagement reach, provided a more accessible and inclusive place for people to ask questions, share positive stories, and it increases visibility in communities.


Highly Commended:

  • Hybrid Generators for its cost saving, carbon reducing hybrid generators.

  • No Net Loss (NNL) for Biodiversity dashboard and Biodiversity Units calculator, ASC, for its implementation of data driven smart ways of working brings biodiversity to the forefront of design considerations. 

Best Innovation

The Winner:

  • Land Transfer and Site Coordination. As winners of the HS2 innovation award, this project is an example of an implemented digital transformation of a robust business procedure to enable the efficient transfer of land and the effective management of access to all parcels of land on the trace; minimising the risk of delay to programme and ensure that EKFB is clearly coordinating works on land it is custodian of.

Highly Commended:

  • GS6 Inspection for developing an interactive GS6 platform that will allow everyone on site to have access at their fingertips.

Shortlisted:

  • AA Thame Valley Viaduct Design and Delivery teams for proposing a simpler and pioneering design solution.

  • New Approach Verification and Validation Matrices, for streamlining reporting

Best Collaborative Initiative

The Winner:

  • ‘Operation Gazelle’. Last year, the NCA team was asked to provide Logistics and Security support to the HS2 National Enforcement Team who were leading an operation to remove activists from an established camp at Small Dean which had been in place for approximately two years. Following eight weeks of careful preparation and collaboration, ‘Operation Gazelle’ went live in the October and ran until 5th December 2021. HS2 described the support as the best they had seen and commented that EKFB had set the benchmark for excellence. 


Highly Commended:

  • PRA Railhead, for bringing over 250,000t of material into the project, taking over 25,000 lorry movements off local roads, and bringing significant cost savings.

  • Pre-construction I&M Design Delivery and Assurance for delivering the pre-construction I&M design and assurance for 35 Earthworks Assets including 18 Mainline Cuttings with two more asset packages.

Shortlisted:

  • Starting Blocks Community is a collaborative forum set up by a small group of EKFB Apprentices & Graduates, for everyone in the "early careers" bracket, providing space for anyone embarking on new career to come together, connect and collaborate.

  • People Plant Interface Training (Plantforce & Flannery) delivered to over 1,200 members of EKFB and HS2 staff in a safe “on-site” environment.

Best Digital Initiative

The Winner:

  • Construction Stage Ground Data Collection and Digital Mapping Tool. A collaborative effort between EKFB Ground Engineering and Information Management teams have produced an innovative new digital tool for collecting, analysing, and reporting construction stage ground data. This digital initiative ensures that the entire C23 project team can access and benefit from the data resource.


Highly Commended:

  • Dynamic automated IFC drawing register for the development of a Power BI App 03 & 04 dashboard to make this previously manual process semi-automatic.

Shortlisted:

  • Digital Dissolution GIS Tool by the Ground Engineering and Information Management teams

  • Arcadis Rail - Portal Building At the outset of Stage 2 design, the team evaluated what a good outcome would look like, how they can avoid certain delivery challenges, maximising efficiencies across the project lifecycle and lowest carbon footprint of the final built asset. This approach and mindset enabled the team to have outcome-oriented conversations with the client and other key stakeholders by focussing on the compounding impact each decision can have on the six Green Tunnel Portal buildings. This has minimised construction and procurement cost, whole life cost and carbon footprint.


Rising Star

  • The Winner: Mathieu Gomes De Oliveira, Graduate engineer

  • Highly Commended: Liam Hatten-Wilson, Apprentice engineer

  • Shortlisted: Daniel Newbold, Apprentice QS, and Sam Gatter, GIS Co-ordinator

Individual Performance

  • The Winner: Gavin Llewellyn, Senior Agent

  • Highly Commended: Elena Gonzalez, Social Value and Legacy Manager, Harriet Butlin, SHE Advisor, and Isabella Greenfield, Engagement Manager.

  • Shortlisted: Adrian St John, Head of Engineering, Cecilia Canullo, Sub-Agent and William Hill, Site Engineer.

Team of the Year

The Winner:

  • Schedule 17 Integrated Team Comprising the HS2/EKFB /ASC/Moxon members this integrated team show clear collaboration through continued engagement and having a positive impact on both the programme and communities. Their work is used widely by HS2 Ltd. As a ‘poster’ example of providing legacy and reputational benefits to the whole HS2 programme as well as C23.


Highly Commended:

  • Aylesbury Area Team. An outstanding nomination of a high performing team with a positive impact on the both the project and communities. This team have brilliant leadership and no blame culture.

  • Calvert EWR Team. An excellent Nomination with clear collaborative working to achieve a common goal. The CA team really exemplify the One Team approach and you feel it when you are working with them.

Shortlisted:

  • Utilities Team combined ASC and EKFB, whose approach has enabled important efficiencies to be generated and implemented into the designs


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