Townsville-based FortisEM Engineers and Project Managers has won national recognition for excellence in the profession.
FortisEM took out the Business Innovation and Small Firm of the Year categories at the Consult Australia National Awards for Excellence presented in Melbourne overnight.
Recognised for their innovative design and delivery of a complex temporary access system on the Merivale Bridge in Brisbane, the firm is breaking new ground in combining technology with the practical and creative elements of the engineering process.
FortisEM managing director Bill Hutton said the project was challenging due to the complexity of the structure and the time constraints.
“We were engaged to design a temporary access system for the Merivale Bridge in Brisbane,” Mr Hutton said.
“The bridge was scheduled for major refurbishment including sandblasting and repainting and the scaffolding was to be designed to ensure that these works could be carried out with minimal disruption to the daily train operations of the bridge.
“We used a combination of BIM, Finite Element Modelling and 3D laser scanning techniques which enabled us to successfully and accurately build a 3D model of the very complex structure of the bridge – which includes twin arches, cable stays at multiple angles and a labyrinth of high voltage power lines. This allowed us to design a scaffolding system that was then installed from a barge-mounted crane.”
The system was designed using a combination of techniques and technology and set a precedent that had positive implications for future projects, Mr Hutton said.
“The design is a successful example for innovative solutions for temporary works,” he said.
“We see the potential this design approach has for increasing the standard and professionalism of temporary works and in adding value, cost savings and time efficiencies to major projects.
“This project has been a unique opportunity for true innovation and we are grateful to have been recognised.”
Consult Australia is the peak industry association for consulting companies in the built environment sector, including engineers, architects, project managers, planners, environmental scientists and quantity surveyors, among others.