Conference Programme

The preliminary programme for 2023 will be posted towards the end of 2022.

To give you an idea of the quality of the sessions and speakers at Bridges, you will find the previous programme for 2022 below.

The 2022 workshops timetable can be found here.

Stream A - Wednesday 9 March 2022


Registration, Coffee & Exhibition networking



Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Accelerating progress towards Net Zero bridges

The context and need for urgent change will be familiar, and a blizzard of Net Zero initiatives has now emerged. But what does it mean for bridge clients, designers, contractors and the wider supply chain? What should be our priorities, and what can we do that is practical, relevant, effective, and immediate? The Net Zero Bridges Group was formed to encourage collaboration and work more rapidly towards change. This keynote presentation will highlight key things that you can be doing so that we all accelerate progress towards Net Zero bridges.

Speakers :
Brian Duguid, Chair, Net Zero Bridges Group Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Innovation at height - constructing the towers for the world’s longest suspended span

Opening in March 2022, Turkey’s 1915 Çanakkale Bridge will be the world’s longest span suspension bridge. During the design phase, crane specialist Marr Contracting proposed an innovative heavy-lift approach for the construction of the bridge’s 318m-high towers. By leveraging the concept of modularisation and early client engagement, productivity and safety on site could be increased and the exacting construction programme accelerated. The heavy-lifting approach developed for the record-breaking bridge in the Dardanelles could be replicated in similar bridge projects around the world.

Speakers :
Simon Marr, Managing Director, Marr Contracting Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


The 1915 Çanakkale Suspension Bridge: deck erection over the Dardanelles Strait

The 1915 Çanakkale Bridge spans the Dardanelles strait at the western end of the Sea of Marmara. More than 3km of deck were erected in two months during the summer of 2021. Eight 450t SWL lifting gantries were required for deck erection, two for each side span and four for the main span. The gantries were self-erected onto the main cables. The presentation will describe the deck erection gantries, including operation on site. It will focus on the innovations specifically developed for this project, in particular, the double tandem lifts near the towers and the self-erection system; innovative solutions which maximise pre-assembly off the critical path and minimise disruption to shipping.

Speakers :
Mercedes Ascaso Til, Principal Engineer, DLT Engineering Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Sustainable procurement – the experiences of Rijkswaterstaat

Rijkswaterstaat is undergoing a period of transformation in order to meet a number of sustainability goals over the coming years. What expectations does Rijkswaterstaat have of the contractors, and what results does it want to achieve? How do the different parties come together on this journey? And how to ensure that project outcomes are in line with sustainability goals? The presenter will share insight into the sustainability goals of Rijkswaterstaat including how the organisation has put into practice the procurement of concrete with a lower footprint, and its re-use.

Speakers :
Valerie Diemel-Spruit, Senior Technical Consultant, Bridges and Viaducts, Rijkswaterstaat Bart van den Broek, Senior Technical Consultant Concrete Bridges, Rijkswaterstaat Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Refreshments & Exhibition networking


Bridges TEN/20

Organised by:

Keith Harwood (Chair), Head of Profession - Bridges and Structures, Hertfordshire County Council

Matteo Di Niro, Engineering Technician, WSP in the UK

Speakers :
Keith Harwood (CHAIR), Head of Profession - Bridges and Structures, Hertfordshire County Council Matteo Di Niro (Assistant), Engineering Technician - Bridges and Structures, Hertfordshire County Council


Digital stone bridges for sustainable construction

The majority of the UK’s bridge stock is made up of stone arches many of which have lasted for 100’s if not thousands of years. Stone arches are remarkably resilient and require minimal maintenance meaning their whole life cost can be a fraction of other forms of bridge. Their whole-life CO2 emission and environmental impact is over 70% lower than concrete or steel, yet very few are built these days. With increasing emphasis on sustainability, revenue maintenance budgets under severe strain, and the availability of digital technology, new ‘digital stone’ bridge construction has the potential to become a real construction alternative for the 21st century. Pilot studies are being developed to demonstrate the feasibility of new stone arch bridges for suitable applications and to offer easy-to-use design and construction guidance.

Speakers :
Dr Adrienn Tomor, Senior Lecturer, Brunel University, London Kevin Dentith (CHAIR), Chief Engineer, ADEPT Bridges Group and Bridge Owner's Forum


Lunch & Exhibition networking


Bennerley Viaduct - from rehab to iron-to-iron challenge

This is the story of a very large wrought iron Victorian railway viaduct that strides across the flood plain of the River Erewash between Derby and Nottingham. This Iron Giant recently experienced a journey that saw it transform from forgotten rusty relic to celebrated and well managed public facility, albeit still rather rusty. This project is characterised by multiple international funding sources, enthusiastic community involvement, prudent spending and sympathetic engineering intervention. With many more disused railway viaducts around the UK, it is hoped that this project might inspire the salvation of similar historic gems.

Speakers :
Kieran Lee, Community Engagement Officer, Friends of Bennerley Viaduct Paul Thomas, Asset Manager, Sustrans/Railway Paths Kevin Dentith (CHAIR), Chief Engineer, ADEPT Bridges Group and Bridge Owner's Forum


Moveable bridges, the one mechanism approach

Drawing upon ROD and H&H’s combined experience – in the latter’s case more than 225 moveable bridges in the last 20 years – the presenters will explain why undertaking design, assessment and refurbishment of moveable bridges is most effective when they are treated holistically as a single mechanism. Examples will be drawn from existing moving bridges as well new-build structures that include the Great Yarmouth Third River Crossing.

Speakers :
John Collins, Associate / Bridge Engineer, Roughan & O'Donovan Paul van Hagen, Principal Bridge Engineer, Hardesty & Hanover Kevin Dentith (CHAIR), Chief Engineer, ADEPT Bridges Group and Bridge Owner's Forum


Protecting bridges from large woody debris: a novel system of trapping devices

Large woody debris can be responsible of severe damage to bridges and cause bridge failure. A novel system has been tested at the laboratory scale and showed promising results for efficiency of debris trapping and reduced flood risk. This presentation shows the hydraulic experiments for this device carried out at the University of Exeter and the potential application to rivers, with an outlook to full-scale testing.

Speakers :
Dr Diego Panici, Postdoctoral Researcher, Devon County Council Kevin Dentith (CHAIR), Chief Engineer, ADEPT Bridges Group and Bridge Owner's Forum


Refreshments & Exhibition networking


Decarbonisation of bridges and viaducts

An innovative project is currently under way with the UK Department for Transport that is focused on identifying carbon reduction in bridges and viaduct assets with an emphasis on whole-of-asset-life carbon management. This uses a tool that was developed by Mott MacDonald and the University of Bristol called FUTURES - Future Uncertainty Toolkit for Understanding and Responding to an Evolving Society.

Speakers :
Tim Abbott, Bridges Practice Lead, Transport, Mott MacDonald Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Hammersmith Bridge – pedestal stabilisation

Built in the 1880s, Hammersmith Bridge is a grade II* listed chain suspension bridge, crossing the River Thames in West London. Following the discovery of critical defects to the cast iron pedestals supporting the main suspension system, the bridge was closed to motorised traffic and subsequently to pedestrians and river traffic beneath.  After detailed investigations, analysis and successful implementation of a temperature control system designed to actively moderate the loading exerted on the distressed pedestals, the bridge was reopened to all but motorised traffic.  This presentation discusses the solution developed to address the root cause and reinstate functional articulation at the seized deviation saddle roller bearings in order to permanently stabilise this Heritage Bridge. 

Speakers :
Rufus Foster, Senior Structural Engineer, Mott MacDonald Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine

16:30: 16:55

The Golden Gate Bridge Retrofit Programme

The Golden Gate Bridge is undergoing an important seismic and wind retrofit program that will include, among other modifications, the addition of jumping deterrent nets and the replacement of structural members. To proceed with these retrofitting activities, platforms and tarps will be temporarily installed on the deck and are expected to have an influence on the sensitivity of the structure to wind-induced vibrations. Given the transient nature of the structure during this work, a strategy combining experimental methods and numerical predictions was employed to evaluate the aerodynamic performance of the bridge and to guide the construction schemes. In particular, the percentage of the length of the main span and side spans that could be tarped without negatively influencing the aerodynamic stability of the deck was determined.

Speakers :
Guy Larose, Senior Technical Director, RWDI Ender Ozkan, Vice President, Europe, RWDI Kevin Dentith (CHAIR), Chief Engineer, ADEPT Bridges Group and Bridge Owner's Forum


Conference close


Bridges Awards 2022 - including complimentary drink

Stream B - Wednesday 9 March 2022


Towards zero carbon steel – an insight for the bridge sector

Reducing embodied carbon in steel for bridges requires an understanding of the manufacturing process, its relationship and effects on steel products and supply chains, and how to interpret supporting data.  This presentation gives insight into where the carbon is in steel making, how decarbonisation will align with the Paris Agreement, making sense of EPD and what solutions are available today for bridge owners and designers.

Speakers :
Neil Tilley, Senior Technical Sales Engineer & Business Development, ArcelorMittal Commercial UK Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Bridge tendons monitoring using acoustic emission technology

A common and recommended practice for the monitoring of civil and industrial infrastructure, Acoustic Emission technology enables the detection of wire breakages even when tendons are embedded in concrete and are relatively far from the surface, which other NDT methods cannot detect. In addition to providing examples of bridge monitoring at various stages of a project - from inception to execution and maintenance – the presentation will discuss the results obtained during tests of real wire breakages on a decommissioned bridge in Germany, where the structure was being monitored using several SHM technologies. We will report in detail about the result of AE in those trials and how it compared with the other methods tested.

Speakers :
Thomas Thenikl, , Vallen Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Clifton Suspension Bridge

Trish Johnson (CSBT Bridge Master) and Sam Wood (COWI Project Manager) will present some of the planned and reactive maintenance and investigations undertaken in recent years to maintain Brunel’s Grade I listed suspension bridge in perpetuity. Projects include refurbishment of the hangers following fatigue issues, investigation and maintenance of the abutment rock slopes and the planned painting and relighting of the bridge.

Speakers :
Sam Wood, Project Manager, COWI Trish Johnson, Bridge Master, Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Lunch & Exhibition networking


What goes on inside an architect’s head?

A question that may often have been privately mused was voiced to the speaker in respect of differing opinions and approaches as to what constitutes a meritorious bridge when judging previous Bridge Awards. With referenced sources including current international bridge projects, an extensive compendium of quotes and the bridge aesthetics chapter of the new ICE Manual of Bridge Engineering 3rd edition, delegates will have the opportunity to get inside the head of one bridge Architect to examine the thought processes.

Speakers :
Keith Brownlie, Director, BEAM Architects Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Ice accretion research findings on Queensferry Crossing

Speakers :
Chris Tracey, Unit Bridges Manager for South East Scotland, BEAR Scotland Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine


Bridge impact managed by remote monitoring

Bridge impact is an ongoing problem for Transport for London. Strikes cause disruption to road and rail networks and damage to the bridges. Transport for London has employed James Fisher Strainstall to implement BridgeStrike monitoring on 11 bridges which support London Underground lines over public roads. Impact detected in the monitoring systems trigger data capture and provides evidence for keeping routes open to traffic and for prosecutions. The presentation will describe the problems faced, the monitoring solutions and how it is applied for bridge management.

Speakers :
Dave Cousins, Principal Engineer, James Fisher Strainstall Zunaid Sagir, , Transport for London Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain (CHAIR), Editor, Bridge design & engineering magazine

The highlight of the bridge engineering year.

Sue Threader, Chief Executive, Rochester Bridge Trust

A great day meeting lots of like-minded people, exploring new innovations and products from exhibitors and listening to some inspiring speakers.

Kevin Dentith, Chief Bridge Engineer, Devon County Council

Excellent networking and knowledge sharing opportunity, everyone who works in bridges should be there!

Liz Kirkham, Network & Strategic Asset Manager, Gloucestershire County Council

Very good conference and excellent networking opportunities.

Paul Tucker, Senior Bridge Engineer & Team Leader, Somerset County Council

Once again a great opportunity to see and hear from market leaders in bridges innovation.

Adrian Worthington, Technical & Design Officer, Wigan Council

The event is always informative, inspiring and relevant - a really good blend of asset owners, researchers, designers and contractors. A must for all bridge engineering professionals!

Phil Raven, Head of Technical Design, Milestone Infrastructure (Oxfordshire Highways)

The event is an opportunity to meet the some main suppliers and service providers in the UK industry
and to gain an understanding of the status quo and the trends in the bridge through the problems faced and solutions found.

Philip Corbett, Concessionaire for the Rion-Antirion Bridge - Greece, GEFYRA SA