eBridges 2021 Programme

NB: All times shown below are in UTC (+01:00) and are subject to some change (digital pass delegates will be given dedicated and 24/7 password-protected access to replays the week after the event)

Day 1 Wednesday 26th May - Stream A (includes keynotes)


Stream A opens

During this period, delegates can check their virtual access and create their profiles for the best eNetworking experience.


Meet & Greet


1. Introduction from chair

Jose Maria Sanchez de Muniain, Editor Bridge design & engineering,




2. Keynote: The design of the Gordie Howe International Bridge (LIVE)

Upon completion the 2.5km-long cable-stayed crossing between Canada and US will be among the top five longest bridges in North America.

The joint presentation will cover architectural design development and visual quality considerations; structural design overview including foundation, tower, and the superstructure type selections; specific design challenges including aerodynamics, stay cable design, redundancy and durability considerations; as well as construction sequence, schedule and latest status update.

Speakers :
Steven L Stroh, Senior Vice President, AECOM Erik Behrens, Practice Director Architecture, AECOM


3. Bd&e Presents - Technical Soundbites - Mabey Bridge


4. Structural topology optimization of steel girders in cable-supported bridges

Girder design for suspension bridges has remained largely unchanged for the past 60 years. However, for future super-long bridges, aiming at record-breaking spans beyond 3 km, the girder weight is a limiting factor. From the application of topology optimization, a method to identify material-efficient structures, a new girder design concept is proposed, demonstrating possible weight savings in excess of 28 percent while maintaining manufacturability.

Mads Baandrup, Structural Engineer, COWI Denmark


5. Bd&e Presents – Technical Soundbites - James Fisher Strainstall


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Workshop building if required)

Those delegates wishing to join the interactive Workshop #1: Digital technology for inspections and monitoring should make their way to the Workshop Building, using the Go to Workshops banner top right or by using the dedicated link supplied. Please note that all dedicated links will only be sent to delegates the day prior to the event.


See 'Workshop building'




7. Bd&e Presents - Technical Soundbites - MISTRAS


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Stream B if required)


8A. Rochester Bridge – a once-in-a-generation refurbishment project

  • The challenges encountered and solutions found during the refurbishment of three estuary bridges across the River Medway in Kent by one of the country’s oldest charities.
  • Rochester Bridge is made up of three separate structures: a 165-year-old Grade II Listed bowstring truss; a 1960s steel box girder on Victorian railway bridge foundations; and a separate utilities bridge.
  • As a critical major river crossing in the heart of the community, the project came under intense and continual public scrutiny and the bridges were kept open to all users throughout the works.
  • A collaborative relationship with the contractor and the community meant that the project delivered benefits beyond the refurbishment of vital infrastructure.

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk & Chief Executive, Rochester Bridge Trust


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Stream B if required)


9A. Forthcoming CIRIA guidance on the assessment of masonry arch bridges (LIVE)

In this exclusive preview delegates will hear the key elements of new guidance by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association. Due to appear later in 2021, the guidance includes the use of a new Permissible Limit State (PLS) to confirm service load performance. Also covered will be outstanding issues and future research needs.

Matthew Gilbert, Director of the Integrated Civil and Infrastructure Research (ICAIR) Centre, University of Sheffield


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Stream B if required)


10A. Wendover Dean Viaduct: Seeking the extraordinary

Speakers :
Tomas Garcia, Head of Civil Structures, HS2 Ben Addy, Director, Moxon Architects


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Bridges Awards building)


Stream A closes

Day 1 - Stream B


Stream B opens/turnaround from Stream A


8B. A green future for bridges (LIVE)

In this illustrated talk Dr David Collings, Technical Director Major Bridges at ARCADIS outlines what Green Bridges are, why they are useful and why we are likely to see much more of them (in the UK alone about 30 new green bridges are being considered by ARCADIS on projects such as HS2 and Lower Thames Crossings). The talk looks at recent European and North American bridges, highlighting the benefits and some common problems (particularly for future maintenance). It looks to the next generation of green bridges and how a multi criteria matrix can be used to assess the various costs and benefits of these bridges.

David Collings, Technical Director Major Bridges, ARCADIS


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Stream A if required)


9B. Timber bridges are here to stay – and stay

Developing quality structures through the use of sustainable materials such as timber is an idea that should be extended to the construction sector, especially at a time when the turning point of irreversible climate change is being faced.

It is commonly thought that timber is not an optimal material for use in structures, more so in the context of timber bridges, which are often associated with low durability, poor strength and high maintenance costs. The presenters will address misconceptions around timber bridges through their own projects, including prefabricated designs as well as completed bridges that feature spans never before thought possible in this material.

Speakers :
Julio Vivas, Technical Director, Media Madera Ingenieros Consultores Nicolas Vallina, Structural Engineer, Media Madera Ingenieros Consultores


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Stream A if required)


10B. The New Burnshot Bridge

In 2020 the new Burnshot Bridge over the A90 near Kirkliston in Edinburgh opened to traffic. A monitoring scheme, funded by the Scottish Road Research Board, was installed from construction to investigate the behaviour and performance against Eurocode design assumptions. The new scheme monitors embedded strain measurements in precast pre-tensioned beams; displacements of buried supporting columns; creep of new concrete construction; and thermal movement of integral skewed deck structure.

Speakers :
Dave Cousins, Principal Engineer, James Fisher Testing Services Stephen Knox, Transport Manager – Structures & Flood Prevention, City of Edinburgh Council


Turnaround (back to Stream A for eNetworking)


Stream B Building closes

Day 1 - Workshop


6. Workshop #1: Digital technology for inspections and monitoring

Network Rail manage a large portfolio of bridge structures across the network that require continued and varying levels of examination, assessment, maintenance and repair/renewal. Methods for recording and monitoring of structures condition are subjective which leads to inconsistencies in the reports received.

The desire is to move towards a more digital approach which enables a more context-based and holistic view of the asset and its surrounding environment; reliable/measurable/comparable and non-subjective data on assets; data driven workflows and deliverables to facilitate detailed analysis and reporting; and an enabler to facilitate future aspirations to use artificial intelligence for defect recognition.

During the workshop delegates will be encouraged to discuss current approaches, including their limitations and shortcomings, as well as consider future needs and potential technologies that could improve existing practices.

Amy Cheeseman, Head of Digital Capture, Waldeck

Day 1 - Bridges Awards


Bridges Awards 2021

Discover the winners of this year's inaugural Bridges Awards in the categories:

  • Bridges Design Awards - projects above £5 million
  • Bridges Design Awards - projects under £5 million
  • Bridges Construction Awards - projects above £5 million
  • Bridges Construction Awards - projects under £5 million
  • Bridges Award for New Life - projects above £5 million
  • Bridges Award for New Life - projects under £5 million
  • Bridges Management Award

The judging panel for the Bridges Awards 2021 is chaired by José María Sánchez de Muniáin, editor of Bridge design & engineering magazine, and is formed by:

  • Joanna Bonnet, Vice President, Cowi UK
  • Keith Brownlie, Director, Brownlie Ernst and Marks
  • Kevin Dentith, Chair, Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport
  • Richard Fish, Technical Secretary, Bridge Owners Forum
  • Colin Hall, Network Rail
  • Daniel Healey, Principal Engineer - Highway Structures Unit, Transport NI
  • Jason Hibbert, Head of Structures, Network Management Division, Department for Economy and Infrastructure, Welsh Government
  • Neil Loudon, Group Manager Structures, Highways England
  • Hazel McDonald, Chief Bridge Engineer (Head of Structures), Transport Scotland

Visit the Bridges Awards website here

Avery Bang, President and CEO, Bridges to Prosperity


eNetworking (if required)

Day 2 Thursday 27th May - Stream A (includes Keynotes)




11. Introduction from chair


12. Bd&e Presents - Technical Soundbites - Arcadis


13. Keynote: Introducing Norway’s floating cable-stayed bridge

The keynote will outline the challenges encountered and the innovations that were developed during the search for the perfect way to cross the 5km-wide Bjørnafjord. A number of crossing concepts were considered - including a floating suspension bridge and a submerged floating tunnel – but these were discarded for this location in favour of the final proposal, a floating cable-stayed bridge.


Mathias Egeland Eidem, Head of Complex Structures, Norwegian Public Roads Administration


14. Auckland Harbour Bridge Emergency Repairs

In September 2020 a freak gust of wind caused a truck travelling over the Auckland Harbour Bridge to overturn damaging a critical member of the 1959 truss bridge. This incident shut four out of eight lanes on the AHB and led to significant disruption of the Auckland motorway network.

Will Pank will describe how the Beca/Auckland System Management Alliance/Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency team worked through the damage assessment, analysis of effects on the structure, design of the remedial solution, and installation of repair works over 16 days.

Will Pank, Technical Director Structural Engineering, Beca


15. Bd&e Presents - Technical Soundbites - USL Ekspan


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Workshop Building if required)

Those delegates wishing to join the interactive Workshop #2: Diagnosis - a missing step in bridge care? should make their way to the Workshop Building, using the Go to Workshops banner top right or by using the dedicated link supplied. Please note that all dedicated links will only be sent to delegates the day prior to the event.


See 'Workshop building'


eNetworking/turnaround (move to Stream B if required)


17A. Pont de Normandie cable replacement

The Normandy Bridge was opened to traffic more than a quarter of a century ago and at the time was the longest span cable stayed bridge in the world.  In fact when design commenced in the late 1980’s the longest existing span was less than 500m and so the 856m span Normandy Bridge was a giant leap forward for this technology.  In order to apply the parallel strand system (PSS) to this record breaking bridge, Freyssinet provided an innovative new system which minimized the stay cable duct diameter and provided aerodynamic stability under all loading conditions.

As part of a recent project to confirm the current health of the bridge it was necessary to remove several stays for detailed inspection.  This presentation will describe the background and works undertaken by Freyssinet to safely de-tension, remove and replace three complete cables.  Of particular interest is the ingenious method used to deal with the cable cross-ties which was a particularly challenging part of the site works.

Speakers :
Paul Bottomley, Technical Director, The Freyssinet Group Matthieu Guesdon, Cable Structures Division Manager, Freyssinet International




18A. The Fourth Industrial Revolution: the AVA system for Network Rail footbridges – and beyond

The construction industry lags well behind the progress made in other industries during the Industrial Revolutions. The AVA footbridge system maximises the use of manufacturing processes, explores the benefits of economies of scale and embraces Industry 4.0. The project aims to change industry mindset from the limitations of a  traditional fabrication and construction approach, and will prove the power of industrial scale repetition. The AVA project is a demonstration of the future of manufactured infrastructure, where long overdue opportunities for industrialisation are finally being explored.

Eva MacNamara, , Expedition




19. Roundtable live: How can the management of bridges relate to the UN Sustainable Development Goals?

Speakers :
Liz Kirkham, Chair, UK Bridges Board Hazel McDonald, Chief Bridge Engineer, Transport Scotland David Collings, Technical Director Major Bridges, ARCADIS




20. Modern materials and bridges

During the search for a technically sound and economical solution for the highly tensile suspenders of a network arch in Stuttgart, the enormous potential of carbon as a material revealed itself. For the first time, a light rail arch bridge was wholly suspended by cables made from carbon fibre.

Lorenz Haspel, Associate, schlaich bergermann partner



Stream A will remain open until 16:00 for eNetworking

Day 2 - Stream B




17B. A parametric FRP footbridge for Network Rail

This two-part presentation explores the team’s approach to the design and
fabrication of a composite (Fibre Reinforced Plastic) footbridge – a modular,
adaptable system developed for Network Rail as a level-crossing replacement
structure. The first half discusses the innovative project-environment and
workflow and how it challenged conventional procurement methodologies.
The second half describes the modular system designed around user
experience, aesthetics, functionality, materiality, cost, and structural

Miguel Escallon, Bridge Designer, Knight Architects




18B. Existing Bridges and BIM – presenting the challenges

The newly established IABSE task group BIM in Structure Management aims to find a way of connecting bridge management systems with existing BIM solutions based on open BIM standards.

Automated, open and transparent digital processes should take into account the structure and related asset management data as well as the variety and complexity of different maintenance/inspection regimes. A Bridge Management System should provide complete digital storage and exchange of data as well as deterioration, optimization and analysis models and their interoperability with existing BIM solutions.

Speakers :
Vanja Samec, Independent Bridge & BIM Consultant - Austria, Chair of IABSE TG 5.6, IABSE, IABSE Chang-Su Shim, Professor and Vice-Chair of IABSE TG 5.6, Chung-Ang University – Korea and IABSE, Chung-Ang University - Korea Eetu Partala, Technology Manager and Core Member of IABSE TG 5.6, Bridges, Sweco - Finland and IABSE, Bridges, Sweco - Finland and IABSE


Turnaround/return to Stream A for live roundtable

Day 2 - Workshop




16. Workshop #2: Diagnosis - a missing step in bridge care?

This interactive workshop hosted by Bill Harvey Associates will examine the role of diagnosis in the care of bridges. Delegates will be challenged with some real-life structural ‘puzzles’ to discuss. Can you successfully interpret the symptoms?

Speakers :
Bill Harvey, , Bill Harvey Associates Ltd Hamish Harvey, Director, Bill Harvey Associates Limited


turnaround (move to Stream A or Stream B)

2021 Speakers included

Supported By