Hawley Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award 2009 Winner
PROJECT TO USE WASTE CHIP FAT IN ASPHALT COMMENDED BY ENGINEERING INDUSTRY
Young engineer Helen Bailey has won a prestigious industry award for her pioneering work which could reduce the carbon footprint of Britain’s road building industry using waste chip fat.
Helen (25), research manager at construction and building materials company Aggregate Industries, was awarded the Fiona and Nicholas Hawley Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award 2009 by The Worshipful Company of Engineers.
She developed a solution using waste vegetable oil to achieve the same key properties as bitumen to bind asphalt mix, beneficially exploiting a waste material without loss of performance in the asphalt. A prototype of her process is currently being trialed by Aggregate Industries in Newark.
Helen commented: “The asphalt industry produces approximately 25 million tonnes of asphalt every year, requiring about 1.25 million tonnes of bitumen. This comes at a significant environmental and economic cost, as the whole process relies on expensive imported hydrocarbons.
“I wanted to find an alternative with same key properties as bitumen in the asphalt mix, using a waste product readily available within the UK. The solution I developed complies with UK Standards for asphalt whilst reducing the carbon footprint in resultant products. My work forms part of Aggregate Industries’ ongoing commitment to sustainable construction.”
Helen was presented with the Hawley Award and a cheque for £5,000 at the Worshipful Company of Engineers’ Annual Awards Dinner, on Tuesday, 7th July at Skinners’ Hall, London, by the Master of the Engineers’ Company, Mr Chris Price OBE FREng and the guest speaker, Mr Peter Jones OBE.
Helen plans to use the prize money to fund an educational trip to Japan to present her paper at the International Conference on Asphalt in August 2010. She is currently studying for a PhD in engineering at The University of East London, supported by her employer Aggregate Industries.
Patents are in the process of application.
The Worshipful Company of Engineers is one of the City of London’s modern Livery Companies and has over 300 members. The Company promotes the development and advancement of the science, art and practice of engineering. (www.engineerscompany.org.uk) Specifically, the Fiona and Nicholas Hawley Award aims to inspire engineers under 30 to present a project that has at least reached prototype stage in meeting the three environmental engineering tests of social, economic and environmental sustainability.