2022 Finalists announced
Date published

20 April 2022

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Finalists announced for the Young Structural Engineering Professional Award 2022

Date published
Date published

20 April 2022

Meet the finalists for the Young Structural Engineering Professional Award 2022

The Young Structural Engineering Professional Award is open to all young graduates or professionally qualified members. It is an opportunity to showcase your skills and achievements, with the award winner receiving a £1,500 cash prize, two tickets to the Structural Awards, and an opportunity to be a judge on the Structural Awards Panel.

Lauren Barnes

Lauren is a passionate structural engineer working in integrated design teams to ensure suitable and sustainable designs. She is a member of Arup Sheffield’s Structural Engineering team, having joined after completing her Master’s degree from The University of Sheffield in Architecture and Structural Engineering, where she now guest lectures and mentors up and coming engineers. Lauren was the joint winner of the Best Emerging Talent Award at the 2020 IStructE Yorkshire Regional Awards.
Lauren is the first in the region to take on a secondment to the sustainability team whilst simultaneously continuing to deliver projects in her capacity as Structural Engineer. She works across both roles to create effective and viable sustainability strategies for buildings and masterplans; delivering low carbon solutions and embedding sustainable outcomes. She faces the challenges of this hybrid role head-on and embraces opportunities to bring her unique insight to reach sustainable structural design solutions.
Lauren has been involved in a broad range of projects – in terms of sector and scale – with her keen interest being in projects that contribute to society as part of our social infrastructure. Many of Lauren’s projects have been technically challenging buildings, with a particular emphasis on healthcare. Her technical project delivery skills have been demonstrated consistently as she's delivered a diverse and interesting portfolio of schools, laboratory and higher education buildings across the region over the past 5 years.
Lauren approaches work in a holistic manner, and ensures she involves and integrates others' input as part of a team approach to design. Lauren champions people and the vast extent of her involvement in numerous EDI, Early Careers and professional industry groups is testament to this.

Lauren continues to push key agendas that are at the heart of what our profession should be achieving – whilst also bringing holistic, well-thought-through designs to her clients.

"Lauren exemplifies what I would say a modern-day engineer should be. Lauren’s technical skills are very strong – but, more importantly, she is also able to understand the wider context of our work. She is passionate and impactful in improving our project outcomes and changing the industry for the better – be that through her projects, interest and skills in sustainable design, or through her promotion of EDI in the industry."
Derek Roberts, Arup Sheffield Office Leader, MIStructE 

Max de Podesta

Max graduated from the University of Bristol with a MEng in Civil Engineering. His final year project focussed on seismic design in developing countries, which gave him a unique understanding of how technical challenges are affected by their socioeconomic context. He then joined the BDP London studio in 2018 as a graduate engineer, where he has benefited from the interdisciplinary culture to develop a strong holistic understanding of the engineering profession.

At BDP Max has worked on a wide range of projects, from museums and refurbishments to laboratories. Highlights include a new Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Epsom, which features a strong client driven MMC design approach, and a Passivhaus school in east London. Most recently he joined the Palace of Westminster Restoration and Renewal team, where he has used his experience of working with existing buildings to help protect and rejuvenate the iconic Grade 1 listed building.

Max became a graduate member of the IStructE in 2020, benefiting from the technical resources and professional development opportunities. He has contributed to industry round table discussions on embodied carbon targets, and won the Kenneth Severn Diploma in 2021 for his essay on competency in the structural engineering profession.

Max is a major advocate of sustainable design within BDP, working to promote best practice and educate the wider team on new and novel approaches. He has collaborated with in-house sustainability specialists to benchmark historical projects, and has developed a range of tools to enable the team to better measure embodied carbon on projects and provide more environmentally conscious designs.

James Lomas

James graduated from the University of Leeds with a first-class honours degree in Civil and Structural Engineering in 2015, with a year spent studying at the National University of Singapore. While studying he was awarded the University of Leeds Hydraulic Analysis Prize in 2012 and first place in the WSP led Integrated Design Project Competition in 2014 as part of a team.

Following his graduation, James went on to join WSP as a Graduate Engineer at their head office in London, transferring after four years to their Vancouver office, Canada. His career to date has included work on a range of challenging residential, commercial, infrastructure, industrial and educational projects. Notable projects include 1-5 Grosvenor Place, a luxury nine story hotel by Hyde Park Corner which was constructed top-down and contains a five-storey basement and The Bermondsey Project, which comprised the construction of 8 new low-medium rise residential and commercial structures along with a 35-storey tower and a school.

In 2017 he was awarded the Institution of Structural Engineer’s Pai Lin Li Travel Award, which allowed him to undertake a 6-week international investigation into structural engineering in other countries. This grant was used investigate how the design of adaptable residential structures has traditionally been approached in the Netherlands, Japan and Malaysia, and the cultural, economic and social motivations that directed them.
James became chartered with the Institute of Structural Engineering and the Engineering Council in January 2020.

Ishan Abeysekera

Ishan specialises in timber engineering and existing buildings. He also has significant experience in vibration engineering. In addition to project work he is also involved in writing the next version of Eurocode 5 on the design of timber structures. He has also guest lectured at Imperial College and Cambridge.

Within Arup he delivers training on timber, buckling, and existing buildings to engineers around the world. He provides ad hoc technical advice on these topics to help colleagues with their projects.

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