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Sweco UK

Rothera Wharf Case Study Wins Coopers Hill War Memorial Prize


We are delighted to announce that our case study on Rothera Wharf ‘An innovative ‘flat pack’ wharf: overcoming construction challenges in Antarctica’ has been awarded the Coopers Hill War Memorial Prize, which will be celebrated at ICE Publishing Awards ceremony in October.

The Coopers Hill War Memorial Prize was founded by the Coopers Hill Society in memory of its members who fell in the First World War (1914-1918). Each year they award authors from both industry and academia who have produced work judged by their peers to be of exceptional quality and benefit to the civil engineering, construction and materials science community.

Stewart Craigie, Technical Director and Design lead for the Rothera Wharf project in Antarctica as part of Sweco’s work in the Antarctic Infrastructure Modernisation Programme (AIMP), produced the paper in collaboration with Ian Wenkenbach, Project Engineer at our AIMP partners BAM International; Emiel Meijer, Lead Designer and Delta Marine Consultants (DMC), the in-house consultancy to BAM Infra; and Alan Roper who was the supervising engineer at fellow partners Ramboll.

This paper describes how our AIMP team overcame the challenges of designing and building in this remote and environmentally extreme location, which has many challenges and led to the development of an innovative ‘flatpack’ modular solution. It describes how the new 74m wharf was designed, manufactured, delivered and built in just two short Austral summers.

The publication of the document was quite a long time in the making. Stewart Craigie explains…

“We prepared the document in October 2020, following the completion of the Wharf, but as we worked on it during Covid, it wasn’t published until May 2021. Funnily enough, no thanks to the global pandemic, it took longer for them to receive and publish the paper than it did to build the Wharf!”


When you’re working closely on a project you don’t always appreciate the impact of the work you produce. We’re engineers just doing our job, but I’m proud to have been a part of the project and to have contributed to the production of this case study in collaboration with my partners at BAM, DMC and Ramboll.”

Stewart Craigie Sweco’s Technical Director and Design lead for the Rothera Wharf project

Ian Wenkenbach, Project Engineer, Bam International, Gouda, the Netherlands and co-writer of the paper comments.

“For me, one of the defining characteristics of the Rothera Wharf Project, aside from its unique location and environment, was the integrated partnership approach adopted by all parties involved. It remains one of the best examples of cooperation between client, technical advisor, contractor, and designer I have had the privilege to work on.

“The paper submitted to ICE sharing our experiences and gained knowledge with the rest of the industry was written in the same spirit with contributing authors from each of the partnership members. It is an honour to now see its quality recognized through the award of the Coopers Hill Memorial Prize. I hope it further encourages the adoption of integrated partnerships throughout the construction industry.”

The award will be celebrated at the ICE Awards Ceremony at One Great George Streeton 13 October 2023, and the winning paper will be made free to read on the ICE Virtual Library.