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The most innovative and collaborative construction projects in Queensland were today recognised at the annual Queensland Major Contractors Innovation and Excellence Awards.

Over 400 guests packed into Brisbane Convention and Exhibition centre to celebrate the achievements of 17 finalists, each being recognised for their innovative approach to delivering outstanding major infrastructure projects across Queensland.

QMCA Chief Executive Officer, Jon Davies, paid tribute to the finalists and winners “Our awards are about celebrating excellence and recognising the talent, endeavours and achievements of every part of major project delivery.”

“From world class design innovations to collaborative projects that will shape the future skills of our industry, Queensland’s major contractors, designers and subcontractors have delivered real innovations that have improved efficiency, safety and skills while building the infrastructure the state needs to grow and prosper.”

“Over the next few years, Queensland has a pipeline of major projects worth $40bn and will employ over 13,000 Queenslanders. As can be seen from the quality of work delivered by every tier of the contracting supply chain, government and private sector clients can have confidence that our sector can deliver outstanding projects that will deliver significant positive outcomes for Queensland.”

Congratulations to every finalist, but particularly to our winners McConnell Dowell, Lendlease, Arup, Pumps United and BMD Constructions who have shown true innovation and excellence.” said Mr Davies.


Four awards were presented on the day:

Contractors Award:
  • Winner 1: McConnell Dowell
  • Project 1: Amrun Chith Export Facility
  • Winner 2: Lendlease
  • Project 2: Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade
Design Consultants Award:
  • Winner: Arup
  • Project: Long Span Super-I Girder
Sub-Contractors Award:
  • Winner: Pumps United
  • Project: Dewatering of Dryanda Road Underpass
Ian Harrington Award:
  • Winner: BMD Constructions
  • Project: Constructionarium Australia


Contractors Award

Purpose: The Inaugural QMCA Contractors Award for Innovation and Excellence was presented in 2017. It is awarded to the most innovative concept by QMCA member that has led to an increase in productivity or increased efficiency, whilst maintaining quality.

The winning concept must have been applied on a civil infrastructure project in Queensland within the last two years.


Winner 1: McConnell Dowell

Project 1: Amrun Chith Export Facility

Amrun Chith Export Facility

Project Overview: The Amrun Project’s Chith Export Facility, located south west of Weipa in Far North Queensland, has revolutionized the design and construction of wharf infrastructure through innovations developed collaboratively by constructor McConnell Dowell, owner Rio Tinto, EPCM Bechtel and designer Jacobs Engineering.

The project, comprising a 650-metre access jetty and 350-metre wharf, will serve as a berth for ships while in port once the bauxite mine becomes operational. Moving away from a traditional stick-built design to a modularised facility, the wharf is split into seven jackets, incorporating berthing and mooring dolphins and six topside modules.

What The Judges Said: The Amrun Chith Export Facility is not only impressive in its sheer scale, complexity and logistics, but also because the project delivery team embraced modular design and construction and took this to a new level. This proponent went against the grain of the traditional design and logistics, leading to exceptional outcomes in regard to programme, safety and environment. The construction methodology directly led to lowering personal risk and had a significantly reduced impact on the environment when compared to traditional design and construction methods. Repetition in design and construction was used to optimise the solution. In order to make this innovation happen, this team had to back themselves, taking on a higher level of logistical risk. Innovation does not exist without risk.

Winner 2: Lendlease

Project 2: Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade

Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade

Project Overview: As part of the Kingsford Smith Drive Upgrade Project, Lendlease were required to construct 165 cast-in-situ concrete piles with the pile tops below ground level. In doing so, they have created an innovative and original bailing bucket for excess concrete which has realised dramatic time and cost savings.

Lendlease’s solution was a bailing bucket sized for the project’s piles, weighted to sink into the wet concrete pile and with a non return valve at the bottom to remove excess. Its brilliance is in its simplicity.

The bucket has saved two days per pile, removing 33 weeks from the project’s critical path and produced cost savings of over $3 million. By eliminating the need for hydro-demolition, it has also improved safety outcomes and reduced environmental impact.

What The Judges Said: The Kingsford Smith Drive upgrade demonstrates that even the simplest of ideas can have a dramatic impact on project outcomes, sending an important message that innovation does not have to be expensive, complex or big. This staggeringly simple idea provides a solution to a problem that has existed in the industry for decades. This innovation proves that every team member has the potential to innovate, which reflects a project culture that the industry should both embrace and celebrate. Simplicity in design is one of the hardest things to achieve and this innovation demonstrates this beautifully.

Design Consultants Award

Purpose: Awarded for the first time in 2018, the QMCA Design Consultants Award celebrates the most innovative concept in an engineering discipline, associated with a civil infrastructure project.

The winning concept must have been applied on a civil infrastructure project in Queensland within the last two years. Entries do not need to have been realised on a QMCA member project.

Winner: Arup

Project: Long Span Super-I Girder

Arup Long Span Super I Girder

Project Overview: Together with Quickcell Technology Products, Arup have produced a girder which challenges the norm and enables industry to construct bridges with longer spans using standard construction methods.

Compared with the current medium- span girders on the market in Australia, the Super I Girder has a stiffer section with a larger and more robust bottom flange, allowing greater prestress to be provided and giving better span to depth ratios.

It can reduce the number of girders required per span and the need to resort to steel construction, meaning less maintenance and whole-of-life costs. It also provides increased flexibility in horizontal road geometry for tighter curves and more complex bridges.

What The Judges Said: The development of a new precast, prestressed, single span, concrete girder for bridge construction that increases the girder span by nearly one third and meets the requirements of two separate client departments is a complex process, with high risk. The design team at Arup developed the Super-I Girder concept defined by Quickcell Technology Products for initial use by Seymour Whyte Constructions on the Port Drive Upgrade project.

The Super-I Girder product was developed over 3 years to meet the requirements of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and Queensland Rail. The advantages of the Super-I Girder are (i) reduction in the number of girders for a given span length, (ii) reduction in the number of supports required, (iii) improved span-to-depth ratios, and (iv) increased beam spacing due to wider top flanges.

These advantages mean that the Super-I Girder is likely to have an immediate and significant impact on bridge design and construction.

Sub-Contractors Award

Purpose: Awarded for the first time in 2018, the QMCA Subcontractors and Suppliers Award showcases the most innovative concept by a subcontractor or supplier in supporting the delivery of a civil infrastructure project.

The winning concept must have been applied on a civil infrastructure project in Queensland within the last two years. Entrants are not required to be or be subcontracted to a QMCA member company.

Winner: Pumps United

Project: Dewatering of Dryanda Road Underpass

Dewatering of Dryanda Road Underpass

Project Overview: Pumps United provided highly-effective and successful dewatering,

environmental services and water treatment solutions enabling construction of Dryandra Road Underpass for the new parallel runway at Brisbane Airport.

To do this, they designed the dewatering around using a particular type of wellpoint that allowed the project to be dewatered using a single sided wellpoint system that would capture and remove ground water from the complex mix of multilayered ground conditions.

What The Judges Said: The judges said Pumps United were exceedingly strong in the impact criteria with their innovation having a significant impact on the wider project and the technology they used was critical to the project’s success. They performed strongly in terms of return on investment and applicability and although the technology is used quite widely in Europe, the originality lay in how Pumps United had applied the solution to the scenario here in Queensland.

Ian Harrington Award

Purpose: To The Ian Harrington Award has been created in celebration of Ian Harrington’s passion for collaboration and contribution to Queensland’s civil infrastructure. It is awarded to an individual or team from a QMCA member company who has “gone above and beyond” in collaboration to achieve an outstanding result.

The collaboration can have taken place at any stage of a project lifecycle, or outside a project on an industry or research level.

Winner: BMD Constructions

Project: Constructionarium Australia

Constructionarium Australia

Project Overview: Constructionarium Australia, founded by BMD Constructions together with Aurecon, is an Australian first collaborative training initiative better equipping the engineering leaders of Australia’s infrastructure future.

The initiative allows engineering graduates to apply their technical skills in a human context, implementing collaboration and sharing of knowledge at an early stage in their careers, to improve outcomes in productivity within the industry.

What The Judges Said: The judges were impressed by the significant amount of collaboration undertaken by BMD and their partners in the development of Constructionarium Australia.    Constructionarium Australia is a not-for-profit organisation whose vision is to ensure Australia’s engineers have the practical skills to construct our future.

To achieve this goal, graduate engineers are exposed to a realistic but safe construction project by working with a construction contractor, designer and client organisation to build a replica of an ionic structure. BMD was the Principal Contractor for the first build – a replica of the Barcelona Communication Tower. 19 engineering graduates were involved in this task.

Constructionarium Australia have since completed another build – a replica of the Story Bridge involving 18 graduates with new industry parties who were not involved in the first build.

Our members.

Acciona Infrastructure Australia
BGC Contracting
BMD Constructions
CPB Contractors
Decmil Group Limited
Fulton Hogan
John Holland
Laing O’Rourke
Lend Lease
McConnell Dowell
Seymour Whyte Constructions