ACCOLADES AND AWARDS Dave Court honoured by his BTS peers Jun 2012
Shani Wallis, TunnelTalk
In the spirit of the James Clark Medal award by the British Tunnelling Society (BTS), David Court is a worthy recipient. Not only has he spent most of his career in tunnelling, he has dedicated much time and energy to the development of the industry in the UK as a whole and of the British Tunnelling Society in particular.
Dave Court (left) receives his medal from new BTS Chairman Damian McGirr

Dave Court (left) receives his medal from new BTS Chairman Damian McGirr

As a longtime employee of UK contractor Nuttall, now a part of the BAM Group of The Netherlands, Dave lists many significant tunnelling projects in his resumé. These include the Mersey Railway Tunnel; the Oxford Trunk Sewer; the Cairo Wastewater Project; the Lee Valley Scheme; and CTRL, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link tunnels under the suburbs of North London. Despite referring to the big R word (retirement), he is involved and working with the BAM Nuttall-led JV for the Western Tunnels contract and the Bond Street and Tottenham Court Road underground station excavations for London’s mega Crossrail project.
It is a distinguished career, but as Bob Ibell commented when announcing the award at the June BTS meeting, it is more for Dave's contribution to the industry, rather than his contribution to Nuttall over those years, that took him to the top of the 2012 list of James Clark Medal nominees.
As a Fellow of the ICE and a member of the BTS since 1979, Dave was Chairman of the Society from 2004 to 2006 and contributed to so many of the Society's activities and publications.
From 2000 to 2011 he was the BTS Committee member representing the Civil Engineering Contractors Association (CECA) on the BSI (British Standards Institution) committees for Safety in Tunnelling and contributed as a Working Group member to several BTS publications including the:
• Joint Code of Practice for Risk management of Tunnels in the UK
• Closed Face Tunnelling Machines and Ground Stability
• Management of Hand-Arm Vibration in Tunnelling
• Best Practice Guide to Nitrogen Monoxide in Tunnels
In particular, Dave has made the training of new tunnel workers and professionals on the construction and contracting side of the business a special mission. He has always been involved as a tutor and organiser of the annual BTS Design and Construction Course and in the past three years he has made substantial contributions, as a member of the Working Group for NVQs for Civil Engineering Site Supervision Level 3; Civil Engineering Site Management Level 4; and Contracts Management Level 5. In addition he was personally involved in launching and taking forward Tunnelskills, our Tunnelling Training Forum, and was Chairman of the of Sub committee for the Safety Passport.
In closing his presentation, Ibell said: "I met Dave recently serving on the Industry Advisory Group for the UK Tunnelling and Underground Training Academy. He is still contributing and it is that contribution to the people in tunnelling which we recognise this evening."
In accepting the award, Dave spoke of the major tunnelling works being undertaken in the UK at the moment and of the current shortfall in specialist tunnelling engineers and skilled underground workers. He said that seeing young people taking up jobs and careers in the tunnelling industry is a rewarding legacy for his time spent in the industry.
Education and training is one of the major theme topics on TunnelTalk. We also support the different programmes and courses conducted in different parts of the world. We also worked on a video production by the ITA (International Tunnelling and Underground Space Association) to encourage young graduating engineers to consider a career in tunnelling. Watch the video and tell us how you came into tunnelling as a career and why it is that you stayed with it.
Congratulations to Dave and, by extension, to everyone who works in the field of education and training.
Scheduling for success at Crossrail - TunnelTalk, April 2011
UK tunnel safety and training schemes in focus - TunnelTalk, August 2011
Careers for Young Engineers in Tunnelling and Underground Construction – ITA video
BTS website pages
BTS James Clark Medal Award recipients
BTS publications, several as free pdf downloads

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