An experienced and popular civil engineering professional has been recognised for his commitment to the industry, with a prestigious award from the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East.
Mike Gardiner, 74, was awarded the Volunteer of the Year Award at the ICE Awards, which recognise engineering excellence across the region.
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has provided outstanding support for ICE education and inspiration initiatives in the North East.
Mr Gardiner has nominated others to receive this award in recent years, but the Regional committee felt it was about time Mike received the award himself.
He has dedicated 41 years to the ICE and its education programme, and awarded an MBE in 2001 for services to the Professional Engineering Institutions in North East England, which included his major contributions to the Industry Project: Understanding Technology (INPUT) scheme at Durham University, which has since spread across the UK as part of the ICE education programme.
He spent his entire career with the Durham County Council Engineering Department working on the design and construction of major road schemes, as well as highways maintenance and transport engineering.
During the ICE President’s visit to the region last month, Mike organised the 2017 Inspire Competition which provides youngsters with the opportunity to solve real-life civil engineering problems. It was created to help attract people into the civil engineering profession and is open to all schools in the region.
The visit from Professor Tim Broyd, President of the ICE, culminated in the ICE Annual Dinner and Robert Stephenson Awards, with a new award created in Mike’s honour, named the Mike Gardiner Cup.
This award recognises outstanding company support for ICE education and inspiration initiatives in the region, and the inaugural winner was Hartlepool-based Seymour Civil Engineering.
Mr Gardiner said: “To win one of the prestigious ICE North East awards was a great personal achievement for me, and I have been taken aback by the Institution’s decision to name a cup in my honour. I have dedicated many years to promoting the industry to the younger generations, who are the future and will be the ones tackling the world challenges we will face in the years to come.
“I love the industry and am looking forward to continuing my work with the ICE and its extensive school programme, which will hopefully encourage even more youngsters to get involved and consider a rewarding future within civil engineering.”
Penny Marshall, ICE Regional Director for the North East, said: “Mike is a true stalwart of our profession and has been a great advocate for the ICE in the North East. His award win was fully deserved, as he has dedicated so much time and effort to our educational initiatives over the years, and I am delighted to introduce the Mike Gardiner Cup to our award schedule going forward.”