Posted on 12 March 2024

A Leeds College of Building degree apprentice has won a prestigious international civil engineering award.

Davey Wallace, a BAM Nuttall Level 6 Civil Engineering Site Management Degree Apprentice at EKFB, was announced winner of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) 2024 Jean Venables Medal.

The global award is open to all candidates who passed their Technician Professional Review in the year preceding the awards. It celebrates the best performance by a newly qualified ICE Technician Member.

Davey completed a Level 4 Construction Site Engineering Technician Apprenticeship last year. He was selected as one of three finalists after a rigorous shortlisting process. A final review panel was held on 22nd February at the ICE headquarters in central London (Great George Street).

Davey presented his professional review report to the judging panel, which was followed by a question-and-answer session. After deliberation, the judges declared Davey the winner after exhibiting his passion and enthusiasm for civil engineering, his ongoing participation in ICE activities, and showcasing his outstanding attributes.

Davey (front right) with Jean Venables Award Certificate

Davey (front right) with Jean Venables Award Certificate

Davey said:

“Three of the best worldwide technical professional reviews are shortlisted for the final each year. I had to present my experience to the ICE board and answer their questions. It was a shock getting shortlisted, and an even greater honour to be selected for the award.”

This is the second time a Leeds College of Building degree apprentice has won the ICE Jean Venables Medal. In 2022, the Medal went to Kayla Browne, who worked for three years on the Thames Tideway Tunnel with BAM Nuttall as part of the BMB Joint Venture.

Vicky Patterson, Curriculum Manager for Technical & Professional Apprenticeships at Leeds College of Building, said:

“It is incredible news that another of our degree apprentices has won this prestigious award. Huge congratulations go to Davey for this international recognition, and to the whole college team and staff at BAM who supported Davey through the apprenticeship programme. This really demonstrates the incredible calibre of apprentices that complete Leeds College of Building programmes.”

Andrea Fisher, Early Careers & Professional Development Manager UK at BAM UK&I, added:

“The Early Careers team are very proud of Davey's success as the ICE Jean Venables Award winner of 2024. Davey thoroughly deserves this award for his hard work, dedication, and passion for professional development. He is a great role model and inspiration to future apprentices wanting to join the civil engineering industry.”

ICE is a centre of engineering excellence that qualifies engineers and oversees a network of experts that build and adapt infrastructure to create a more sustainable world. Today, ICE is a 98,000-strong global membership organisation with over 200 years of history.

The award was first held in 2011 and is named after former president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Dr Jean Venables. The 144th president of the Institution of Civil Engineers from 2008-2009, Dr Venables was the first woman to hold the office. She was a chartered civil engineer and environmentalist who significantly raised the profile of Technician members.

Stephen Gray, Head of Engineering Development UK at BAM Nuttall/BAM UK&I, concluded:

“As the company’s Lead Supervising Civil Engineer, I’d like to congratulate Davey in this fantastic achievement. The Jean Venables Medal is awarded to the best Engineering Technician review in each calendar year, so is industry wide recognition for all the hard work Davey has put into his work at EKFB. Davey’s passion for civil engineering comes across when he talks about his experiences and I’m sure the judging panel would’ve been enthralled during his presentation.”

Leeds College of Building is already producing exceptional civil engineers making their mark in the industry. Around 250 students are currently enrolled on Civil Engineering training programmes. Over the last five years, higher-level courses have grown to represent a significant proportion of Leeds College of Building provision. Approximately 80% of delivery in the new University Centre now covers Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeships, Higher, and Degree Apprenticeships.

Davey will receive the Jean Venables Medal and £1,000 prize money later this year at the ICE Annual Award Ceremony in October.

To find out more about Civil Engineering courses at Leeds College of Building, visit the next open event on Saturday 18th May, 10am – 1pm, South Bank Campus.