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PISA Project wins BGA Fleming Award for 2017

The Pile Soil Analysis (PISA) Project, with scientific contributions from researchers at Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science, has won the British Geotechnical Association’s Fleming Award for 2017.

Professor Byron Byrne with members of the PISA Project team holding the winning cheque

The Award, which commemorates the life and work of Dr Ken Fleming who was chief engineer at Cementation Skanska Foundations, recognises excellence in the practical application of geotechnics in a project, with an emphasis on teamwork and innovation.

The £3.5m PISA Project delivers new design methods for laterally loaded pile foundations, particularly focused on next generation monopiles for offshore wind turbines. The project has involved a wide ranging set of activities, from numerical modelling and theoretical developments to laboratory testing and a comprehensive field scale pile testing campaign to provide the validation evidence. The Project was funded through the Carbon Trust's Offshore Wind Accelerator programme, led by Ørsted (formerly DONG Energy) and 10 industry partners, with the scientific work completed by an Academic Work Group led by the University of Oxford, working with Imperial College London and University College Dublin.

Senior Manager at Ørsted's R&D Project Management, Jesper Skov Gretlund, and responsible for PISA said: “The method is already becoming popular in offshore design. It's one of the many initiatives that are helping to realise our ambition of making green energy cheaper than energy from fossil sources.” Professor Byron Byrne from Oxford and Principal Investigator of the Academic Work Group commented: “PISA represents a great example of innovation in this sector with industrial and academic teams combining forces to solve important technical challenges.”

There were a record number of entries for the Award this year with the team facing strong competition from two other shortlisted entries during the Final, which involved presentations at the Institution of Civil Engineers during the evening of 6th December 2017. The team plans to donate the £1000 prize money to charity.


Professor Byron Byrne with members of the PISA Project team holding the winning cheque