RSK Innovation Awards 2021

December 06, 2021

At RSK, what makes us unique is that we are a group of entrepreneurial businesses collaborating effectively to deliver inventive solutions for our clients. It has always been our philosophy to encourage any employee who has an innovative business idea, and we have now celebrated our fourth annual RSK Innovation Awards. As we continue to grow, there is a real quality of innovation emerging across all sectors of the business, as reflected by this year’s well-deserving winners.

The RSK Innovation Awards 2021 received 87 entries from 30 different RSK business units. The virtual awards ceremony was held on 3 November 2021 and hosted by Alan Ryder, RSK Chief Executive Officer, and George Tuckwell, leader of RSK’s Innovation Network and Divisional Director for Geosciences and Engineering. This year’s overall Innovation Award winner is the CAN Drill Autoloader. Chosen from six finalist projects, it is an excellent example of an RSK company innovating to fill a business need by developing a new, groundbreaking technical device to improve on-site safety and efficiency.

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CAN Drill Autoloader

This year’s RSK Individual Recognition Award winner is Tom Henman from RSK Geosciences. Tom was chosen from 15 finalists for his outstanding contributions to several innovations, including three Innovation Awards project entries. He was also recognised for pioneering industry-leading approaches to training, development and risk assessment. “These awards really show the full range of innovation across the business,” Tom commented. “I think that is among our strengths: that we are nimble, and we have a strong focus on innovation.”

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Tom Henman

Closing the awards, George Tuckwell said, “My congratulations to all the innovators. The strength and the quality of the innovation that happens in lots of different pockets across the business are wonderful to see. If you have been inspired by what you have seen and thought ‘we are doing stuff just as good as that, if not better, in my business unit’, then shout about it, tell us all about it, and we will wave the flag at next year’s Innovation Awards with you.” We are looking forward to 2022 already!

You can discover more about each of the RSK Innovation Award winners below.

RSK Innovation Award Winner – New product or service: CAN Drill Autoloader

Mike Yaxley, Tommy Moore and the CAN site teams

The Autoloader is a milestone project for CAN Geotechnical that consists of a remotely controllable, bolt-on autoloading mechanism for existing drill masts. The device removes the need for rope access technicians to manually load soil nail bars into a drilling rig, thereby reducing staffing requirements and moving employees away from the hazards of the slope or cliff face and the drilling operation itself.

The remotely operated ‘cartridge’ stores all the bars necessary for one or more soil nails (depending on hole depth) as part of the extended drill mast assembly. The drilling operations themselves are also all remotely controlled, making this a technologically advanced and hands-off process compared with standard, traditional techniques.

The development work was carried out as there is no commercially available system that performs these functions. The Autoloader is in use on CAN sites, with ongoing technical development work to keep progressing these improvements to site efficiency.

Individual Recognition Award: Tom Henman, RSK Geosciences

Tom works tirelessly to find better ways of doing things to the benefit of our business, our staff and our clients. Examples of this include developing a pioneering employee survey on staff training and development, developing the Geosciences advanced consultant training scheme and leading the successful delivery of and championing the mobile data capture roll-out within Geosciences.

 He has also made outstanding contributions to the awareness of mine gas risks; to development; and consistently contributes to new ways of thinking and working to the benefit of RSK Geosciences and beyond. Tom works to bring out the best in others, too, building up the RSK Geosciences team in Glasgow from a few individuals to a major player in Scotland. And, as head of profession for the Specialist in Land Condition (SiLC) Register, he has successfully mentored several candidates through the process, thereby helping RSK to achieve the position of having more SiLCs than any other organisation.