Premier Engineering

FPS awarding success from the ground up!

Cage FPS
Written by Roma Publications

FPS awarding success from the ground up!

Phil Hines, Chair, Federation of Piling Specialists

Formed in 1964 the Federation of Piling Specialists (FPS) has done much to establish and improve standards in the piling and geotechnical sector, a process that is on-going and critically important, not only for the piling sector, but also for the wider construction industry. However, the piling sector, like construction as a whole, is evolving rapidly and with change comes challenges.

Challenge, of course, is almost synonymous with the construction sector, with some issue or other throwing itself at us almost daily, whether at a company level or all too often these days, on a wider level beyond our control such as Brexit, legislation, government changes or even the impact of the demise of Carillion. However, construction is surprisingly resilient and if you would excuse the pun, ‘built’ to endure. This endurance brings with it innovation, drive and initiative, and if proof were needed of this then the recent FPS Awards Dinner must surely be it.

Attended by over 200 people, the recent FPS Dinner and Annual Awards was held 19th October 2018, at the Intercontinental London Park Lane Hotel, and was a tremendously engaging evening hosted by non-other than Coaching Legend, Sir Clive Woodward OBE.

The evening celebrated all that is good about the piling sector, serving as a showcase for the piling sector’s most innovative work and also the talent it embraces. Now in their third year the awards were established to celebrate excellence in piling and in particular young technicians and professionals committed to learning and personal development. They also are designed to applaud piling companies that have gone that extra mile to demonstrate safety innovation or the application of technology that has improved quality, productivity or any aspect of their business. This year’s awards attracted some 32 individual award entries, which were judged by, Pam Rigby (United Utilities), Chris Harnan (MD of Ceecom Consult Limited), and Rachel Monteith (Associate Director at Buro Happold UK) all leading figures within construction.

Whilst the details of all this year’s winners are beyond the scope of this article, it is nice to give them some recognition. This year’s winners were:

  • Dawson-WAM, who was awarded the Safety Innovation Award (sponsored by John Laurie Tubulars), for its Safelane Check Point an audible alarm system making the work area safer.
  • Keller, who was awarded the Technology Award (sponsored by Casagrande UK), for its 3 into 2 Initiative reducing the number of lorries required to mobilise equipment to site
  • Luke Morris, Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, was awarded the Early Career Technician Award (sponsored by Dywidag-Systems International).
  • Blake Murray, Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, took the Early Career Professional Award (sponsored by Cementation Skanska).
  • Mark Pennington, Balfour Beatty Ground Engineering, was awarded the prestigious FPS Chair’s Award (sponsored by Cleveland Steel and Tubes), in recognition of his contribution to the piling sector. Mark has worked for over 20 years in ground engineering and has led the initiatives to improve the FPS Rig Bearing Pressure spreadsheet and to improve industry piling platform safety performance. Mark has also been a driver behind the development of FPS BIM Guidance documents, to support members to develop their own digital management systems and was part of the team that set up the Crossrail Lessons Learned conference. Most importantly, he has chaired the FPS Technical Committee since 2011.

For more information about the FPS, its work, or for details about becoming a member, visit:


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