An engineer from Thornaby has won the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) North East’s Emerging Engineers award.

Jessica Jackson, a graduate civil engineer, scooped the first prize with her paper on the use of recycled materials in geobags to prevent river erosion.

The Emerging Engineers award promotes and recognises outstanding communication of civil engineering work. A team of experts from across the region scrutinised entrants’ papers and presentations in an event held at Newcastle University. Applicants were invited to submit papers of up to 4000 words in length and then present their ideas and research to the panel.

Jessica received £250 for winning the regional prize and will now wait to see if she will be shortlisted to present her paper at the international final in London in October. James McKenna came second, with his paper Investigating the limitations and accuracy of industry standard hydrodynamic flood modelling software. Third place was given to Ruth Gibson for her discussion on the use of downhole geophysics on sites at risk of legacy underground coal mining. They joined fellow finalist, Karl Wilson who presented his paper on the importance of plastic, wood and hempcrete in the future of construction.

Jessica’s winning entry was inspired by the recent River Leven defence works and focussed on how recycled materials can provide substantial mitigation against river bank erosion.

On her success, Jessica commented: “I’m absolutely delighted to have won this prize.

“My paper was inspired by the River Leven flood defence project, which was in itself, really innovative having won ICE’s Robert Stephenson award for small projects this year. It’s more important than ever that we think creatively about ways to respond to environmental pressures.”

Penny Marshall, Regional Director of ICE North East, said: “Many congratulations to Jessica who gave a passionate and well-thought out presentation.

“The Emerging Engineers awards is a fantastic opportunity for those studying or recently qualified to get their teeth into a big research project and have a chance to pitch it to an expert panel.”

For more information, visit http://www.ice.org.uk