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CIHT Awards 2016

Building, Construction & Infrastructure, Highway & Transportation

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The Awards for the Yorkshire and Humber division of the Chartered Institute of Highways and Transport (CIHT) are presented on a yearly basis, giving recognition to some of the fantastic work that goes on within the region.

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Doing a lot of work within the sector over the years, I have attended the Awards on a number of occasions and always found it a fantastic event to really gain a brilliant understanding and appreciation of some of the great work and projects that are completed in this region. In addition to this it’s a great evening to network with some fantastic leaders within the industry.

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This year was, however, slightly different for me.  As Scantec is a regular sponsor of the event, we would ordinarily attend the evening to present the awards but this year I was invited to be on the judging panel to assist in deciding on the award winners.  I gratefully accepted the offer with both a sense of intrigue and interest. The judging panel met in the offices of one of the region’s former Chairman, Rob McCartney (a current committee member and highly respected for his work and contribution to the region).

As I mentioned previously, having attended the Awards evenings on a number of occasions, I hadn’t realised the extent of the deliberation that goes into each presentation. We were all sent details of every company’s/candidate’s award submission well ahead of the afternoon, in order to do our own preparation and score them ourselves – which I duly did with the assistance of one of my colleagues. On the day we met up, the CIHT committee members were present, led by the Chairman Dave Pownall, plus guest judges. It was only once the judging started that I truly appreciated how much debate went into every award application. What I found most refreshing was that everything was challenged by the majority of the committee, even the criteria for the judging on a number of occasions. Everyone had a voice and I felt every award had a more than worthy winner.

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What was particularly interesting was that some of the projects/applicants had been scored a little further down the ranking list by the panel prior to the event but because of the open, challenging and insightful debate there were different final conclusions reached. So after a thorough, and enjoyable, few hours debating the winners, we decided on who should receive the honours – to be presented at the dinner the following week.

What particularly resonated with me on the evening of the Awards, when I took my seat at my table and was sat next to one of the young professionals who had been shortlisted for an award, one of the first things he said to me (when putting across his passion for the evening and the work he had done) was, “I do hope I have managed to win, it would really make my year”. Whilst not giving away my knowledge of the previous week’s judging discussions, I quietly wished him the very best of luck and thanked him for his contribution. In this day and age where there seems to be awards for all sorts of things nowadays, it really showed me how much these awards matter to people and for a lot of people, it’s not ‘just a job’ but both a career and a passion. It gave me great satisfaction to know that the awards really had been debated thoroughly and awarded to the people who most deserved them.

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There was a great speech from the Chairman of the CIHT Yorkshire and Humber region and a very interesting speech from the guest speaker and then the awards were presented (without a hitch!). The winners were congratulated, the finalists respected and everyone enjoyed a fantastic evening.

On reflection the following day, I felt a much greater satisfaction than previous years, knowing that I really had contributed in a more significant way than other years, to a fantastic evening had by all.

Words by Rich Sutton

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