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Innovation Flying High

19 July 2016

Costain picked up another prestigious award at this year’s Construction News Awards, walking away with the Company Innovation of the Year award for its fresh approach to aerial surveying.

The Costain Aerial Solutions team were presented with their award at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 14 July.

Headed by Peter Slater, the Costain Aerial Solutions unit was set up in 2015 to explore the potential of using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) or ‘drones’ to help cut surveying time. As well as surveying large areas, either with standard cameras or more specialised measurement devices such as Thermal Imaging or Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), UAVs can be used to inspect hard-to-reach structures in hazardous locations. Aerial Solutions builds on existing progress in UAV deployment achieved by Costain’s complex delivery teams.

Through collaboration with key innovators SenSat Geo, these aerial vehicles have been introduced to conduct land surveying on a number of the company’s highways projects as well as by site teams on various rail and oil and gas projects.

In naming Costain their winner, the judges described it as “clearly a company committed to innovation” and praised its willingness “to take technology, embrace it and use it to tackle a practical problem.”

The judges commended how Aerial Solutions is framing its own progress in the context of the government’s Construction 2025 industrial strategy, which aims to target a 50% reduction in project delivery time from inception to completion. To date, the remote systems have reduced the time required for the data collection phase by around 80%.

The judging panel also lauded how Costain has empowered young members of staff to lead the way in the Aerial Solutions operation, while demonstrating strong support for this new venture and clear buy-in at management level.

“Costain has produced a synthesis of three cutting-edge technologies to take on a longstanding challenge, demonstrating savings in cost, time and carbon,” the judges said.

Peter Slater, Aerial Solutions Manager, said: “UAVs and automated robotics have enormous potential to help meet national needs, safer and more efficiently. It was great to represent Costain’s continuing desire to work with researchers, developers and SME’s to deliver smart solutions and to get involved in the disruptive technologies changing our industry. We hope this award helps to generate awareness of where this technology can be deployed to solve our customer’s needs.”

Tim Embley, Costain’s Group Innovation and Knowledge Manager, added: “The Costain Team are delighted with this industry recognition. The award illustrates Costain commitment to find innovative solutions and demonstrates the business strategy of Engineering Tomorrow is having a significant impact in the creation of new solutions that meet customer needs.”

This was the second award from Construction News, after Perenco’s Dimlington Terminal Freon Replacement Project in Yorkshire, on which Costain was the principal contractor, was named Project of the Year.

Caption: (Left to Right) Paul Georgie, Founder & Principal Technologist, GeoGeo, James Dean, Director, Technology Applications, Sensat, Peter Slater, Aerial Solutions Manager, Costain, Callum Rogers, Bid Manager, Costain



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