Outstanding apprentice celebrates success at ACE awards

Apprentice engineer Ben Wilcox

Apprentice engineer Ben Wilcox was among the built environment stars of the 2023 ACE awards.

Outstanding achievements from the built environment sector were honoured recently by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering at its 2023 awards ceremony held in London.

Scooping Apprentice of the Year was Ben Wilcox from Nottingham who was nominated by his employer BWB Consulting, a multi-award-winning engineering and environmental design consultancy. 

He received his award among other global players in the sector. 

Ben took a Level 3 Civil Engineering Technician Apprenticeship with Derby College Group. 

While studying at Derby College Group, Ben won his cohort’s Student of the Year Award. 

His latest accolade is for his commitment at BWB Consulting where he is two-and-a-half years into his Civil Engineering Technician Apprenticeship.

On winning the award Ben said: “I’m absolutely over the moon, it was a complete surprise.”

“I’ve always wanted to take the apprenticeship route; I’m a hands-on person and I like to learn on the job. 

“It's an honour that BWB Consulting has recognised my work and nominated me, especially as the company is known for technical excellence and exceptional client services. 

“Looking ahead, I’d like to go on to do my HNC Level 4 in Civil Engineering. It’s a great pathway into the industry, I’d recommend it to anyone.”

Also Highly Commended on the night was Brendan Luke Wagstaff of Mott MacDonald.

Work continues across the industry to encourage a new generation to forge bright futures in the built environment sector. 

Figures from the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) say around 225,000 extra workers will be required to meet construction demand in the coming years. 

If the projected growth is met, 2.67m people will work in the construction industry by 2027.

Also showing just what the sector has to offer is Lily Erskine, who was named Emerging Professional of the Year at the ACE awards.

An associate at Narro Associates, colleagues nominated her in recognition of her role as a lead structural engineer on a £100m refurbishment and reconfiguration of a Category A listed former school in central Edinburgh, The former Royal High School.  

She said: “It’s great to be acknowledged for my work in this way. Not only does it showcase the calibre of projects I’ve been working on but also gives me a platform to advocate for young women in engineering as well as diversity in general. 

“This is very close to my heart, I’ve been doing a lot of outreach to garner support for diversity more widely in the structural engineering field.”

The awards were presented by Amol Rajan, an esteemed news presenter and known to many as host of University Challenge.

Held at the Leonardo Royal Hotel London Tower Bridge on January 18, the 2023 awards coincided with ACE’s 110th anniversary celebrations.

The winners and highly commended organisations and individuals were:

  • Best Sustainability Project – Harley Haddow. Highly Commended – Ramboll
  • Best Innovation and Technology Project – Ramboll. Highly Commended – WSP
  • Best Transport Project – AECOM. Highly commended – Narro
  • Best Social Value Project – Ramboll. Highly commended – Mott MacDonald and WSP
  • Inclusive Employer of the Year – Mott MacDonald. 
  • Apprentice of the Year – Ben Wilcox, BWB Consulting. Highly commended - Brendan Luke Wagstaff, Mott MacDonald.
  • Emerging Professional of the Year – Lily Erskine, Narro. Highly commended – Daniel Ross, Harley Haddow and Alex Craddock, Ramboll.
  • Best UK Consultancy (Micro) – GB Card and Partners
  • Best UK Consultancy (Small) – X Buro
  • Best UK Consultancy (Medium) – Goodson Associates
  • Best UK Consultancy (Large) – Ramboll
  • Lifetime Achievement Award – Peter Curran, Ramboll

Click here to see more images from the Consultancy and Engineering Awards 2023.

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