News Archive

Journey of the Drop

16 November 2016

Journey of the Drop

RPS a key player in new energy film

RPS is a key contributor to the World Petroleum Council’s marketing film: Journey of the Drop produced in collaboration with ITN. The film looks at the current oil and gas environment and showcases how RPS is able to support its energy sector clients across the full oil and gas lifecycle particularly in the current downturn where the major focus is on clean energy and reducing the costs per barrel of oil.

View the film here

RPS Success at Irish BIM Innovation Awards 2016

11 November 2016

RPS Success at Irish BIM Innovation Awards 2016

The BIM Innovation Awards produced and managed by CitA in association with Irish Building Magazine and proudly supported by saw RPS receive the judges’ special commendation for their work on the M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvement Project in Scotland.

(L to R) – David Philp (Judge), Claire Penny (Judge), Mark Costello (RPS), Ruth Staunton (RPS), Alistair Heanen (Amey), Christy O’Sullivan (RPS), Alan Hore (CitA)

There were four winners on the night:

Chiswick Community School – JJ Rhatigan & Company

Wellcome-Wolfston Centre for Experimental Medicine – Ostick & Williams

BIM to FM on Schools Bundle 4 – BAM

M8/M73/M74 Motorway Improvement Project in Scotland – Ferrovial/Lagan/Amey/RPS

RPS is part of the multinational consortium (Ferrovial/Lagan/Amey/RPS) collectively responsible for the design, construction, commissioning, operation and maintenance of the project on behalf of the Scottish Roads Partnership.

This £500m project will complete the motorway link between Glasgow and Edinburgh, creating better connectivity, improving safety, cutting congestion and reducing journey times. It involves a 12km section of new dual three-lane motorway and upgrades to 16km of the existing motorway.

The project includes significant improvement works at Raith Junction under live traffic conditions. This element alone involves construction of a new 600m long underpass below the existing roundabout, realignment of the existing roundabout, five new bridges and pedestrian / cycling facilities.

An integrated team approach has been adopted to cover the whole asset lifecycle. BIM has been used as the platform for this integration. An ‘M8 BIM Committee’ which comprises representatives of the designers, constructors and operator has driven collaboration and integration across the entire project team and has brought value to all parties.

RPS Scoops Two Awards at Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2016

07 November 2016

RPS Scoops Two Awards at Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards 2016


RPS won two awards at this year’s Engineers Ireland Excellence Awards on Friday night. The Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Robotics Project was awarded the Technical Innovation Award and the Corrib Project – Onshore Gas Pipeline won the prestigious Outstanding Engineering Project of the Year 2016.

PJ Rudden (RPS), Jim Mulcair (Roadbridge), Michael Nolan (Transport Infrastructure Ireland – award sponsor), Ronan Deasy (Shell), Ciarán Butler (RPS), Pat McAndrew (BAM) and Caroline Spillane (Engineers Ireland). (Image: Engineers Ireland)

RPS in partnership with client Shell E&P Ireland Ltd and two major Irish contractors Roadbridge and BAM scooped the main award of the evening, which was decided mostly (80%) by a public vote.

The Corrib Project development is a critical piece of national infrastructure producing much of Ireland’s future gas supplies over the next 15 to 20 years. One of the largest infrastructure projects in the state’s history, it was designed and constructed to the highest international safety, technical and environmental standards. It cost approximately €3.5 billion and will contribute some €6 billion to Ireland’s GDP.

The Corrib tunnel is the longest tunnel constructed in Ireland and the longest gas pipeline tunnel in Europe. This was achieved in an area of outstanding natural beauty with many environmental designations (SAC, SPA, NHA, Ramsar). In 2007, RPS was appointed by Shell E&P Ireland Ltd to commence an innovative pipeline route selection process and comprehensive local community engagement on alternative routes which met the requirements of the Aarhus Convention on Public Participation in Decision Making, even before these requirements became law in Ireland five years later in 2012. The Corrib project created a benchmark in gas safety and particularly in managing and communicating societal risks.

The Technical Innovation Award was awarded to RPS in partnership with Scotia Gas Networks (SGN) and US company ULC Robotics for the Network Innovation Competition (NIC) Robotics Project, which was completed in 2015. This project pioneered the deployment of sensor technology inspection and repair robots in live gas distribution mains that had never been attempted before. It involved the design, manufacture and field testing of the new robots, which were successfully tested in live gas mains in London in November 2015.

Graeme Cleeton (ULC Robotics), Maurice Buckley (NSAI – award sponsor), Ciarán Butler (RPS), PJ Rudden (RPS) and Caroline Spillane (Engineers Ireland). (Image: Engineers Ireland)

The innovative technology measures wall thickness, stress and strain in pipelines and will allow gas utilities to extend the life of cast iron pipeline infrastructure. Its use will allow pipeline inspection and joint repair operations to take place with minimal disruption to customers, with fewer traffic restrictions, lower road reinstatement costs and no supply restrictions for gas customers. RPS provided technical services to SGN and ULC Robotics, to support this industry-leading innovation project developing robotic platforms and solutions for the gas industry.

“We are delighted with the national and international recognition that both of these awards give us” stated PJ Rudden, RPS Project Director for both projects. “In close collaboration with both clients and project partners, these two projects in Ireland and UK will create reliable new gas infrastructure that will reduce costs, increase security of supply and provide wide ranging environmental benefits” he added.

Recognition for Pioneering Excellence at Verrall Park

03 November 2016

Recognition for Pioneering Excellence at Verrall Park


Gold Award recognises RPS keeping heritage key in Woodlinks Village masterplan.

RPS has been recognised with a Gold Award at Ipswich City Council’s Awards for Excellence, for its work to integrate Ipswich’s pioneering heritage into a new park development.

Engaged by the Village Building Company as the lead Planning Consultant for masterplanned community Woodlinks Village, RPS knew Verrall Park would be important for the open space amenity it would offer the new community. But when the graves of some of the area’s first residents were discovered, the team’s attention soon turned to integrating the community’s past with its master planned future.

RPS Technical Director for Planning, Emma Moller says her team felt very fortunate to communicate directly with descendants of the Verrall family (for whom the park is now named) to discuss how their ancestors’ resting places could be incorporated into the park's design.

“When you are planning and designing new communities, it’s very rare that you get to make connections with people whose family members contributed to the first settlement of the region more than 130 years ago. It was an extreme privilege to work with the Verrall family to coordinate an in-depth cultural heritage investigation and the Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) survey that would locate the graves, and reconnect them with their ancestors,” she said.

“The Verrall family had clear ideas about how they wanted their family members to be acknowledged and remembered, and it was great to work with a client (the Village Building Company) that embraced the opportunity to connect future residents of Woodlinks Village to the history of their region.”

Originally from England, George and Sarah Verrall settled in the Ipswich District in 1850. They had 14 children and now have up to 3,000 known decedents, 2,000 of which still live locally.

In addition to the work done to preserve the grave sites, the Verrall family’s history has also been incorporated into the landscaping of the park. Seedlings from Hoop Pines located near the site of the original family homestead were propagated by existing family members Tom and Chris Verrall, and now offer shade to visitors of the park.

“I look forward to bringing my grandkids to the park so I can show them the history of the Verrall family and Collingwood Park - which is very close knit and much like a larger family,” said Tom.

RPS would like congratulate The Village Building Company, Saunders Havill and all members of the project team.

About Woodlinks Village
Woodlinks Village is a 78 hectare master planned community located in the suburb of Collingwood Park in Ipswich, QLD. Close to schools, shops, parks and transport networks, Woodlinks Village offers affordable living within 30kms of the Brisbane CBD.

EU Commission reappoints RPS to manage European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards

02 November 2016

EU Commission reappoints RPS to manage European Green Capital and European Green Leaf Awards

The EU Commission has reappointed RPS to manage the European Green Capital (EGC) and European Green Leaf (EGL) Awards for the coming years.

Bristol – EU Green Capital City 2015 (Image: Chris Bahn – courtesy of EU Commission)

The European Green Capital Award and the European Green Leaf Award recognise a city's commitment to a better urban environment. Cities with populations greater than 100,000 are eligible to apply for the European Green Capital Award. The European Green Leaf is open to cities of between 20,000 and 100,000 inhabitants.

To date, nine cities have won the European Green Capital Award: Stockholm (2010), Hamburg (2011), Vitoria-Gasteiz (2012), Nantes (2013), Copenhagen (2014), Bristol (2015), Ljubljana (2016), Essen (2017) and Nijmegen (2018). Each award is made two years in advance of the designated year to enable cities to adequately plan to celebrate their year with international sustainability conferences, festivals and other events involving international urban networks.

Three cities have won the European Green Leaf award to date. In 2015 - the first year of the competition - Mollet del Valles (Spain) and Torres Vedras (Portugal) both received the award. The European Green Leaf Award 2017 went to Galway.

Award winning cities must have a consistent record of achieving high environmental standards, be committed to ongoing and ambitious goals for further environmental improvement and sustainable development and act as future role models to inspire other cities.

By 2050, it is estimated that four out of five Europeans will reside in towns and cities. But cities also embody many of the environmental challenges facing modern society such as congestion, pollution, water shortages, waste issues and the demand for public spaces. As a result municipal and city authorities are compelled to look for innovative and often ground breaking solutions.

Each entrant city is judged by a panel of international experts in twelve indicators areas: climate change mitigation and adaptation, local transport, green urban areas, nature and biodiversity, ambient air quality, quality of acoustic environment, waste production and management, water management, waste water treatment, eco innovation and sustainable employment, energy performance and integrated environmental management.

Cooperation and partnerships between authorities, citizens, business, educational and other stakeholders aimed at developing and improving urban living conditions are paramount to success.

In the winning cities to date there is evidence of increased tourism, international profile, new jobs, more emphasis on environmental projects, boost in local pride and belonging and increased public funding. There is also momentum to continue environmental improvements and access to the EGC and EGL Networks which are set up.

'The European Green Capital award now in its ninth year celebrates good planning for good urban living. And good urban living should not be restricted to big cities and towns.' stated Karmenu Vella, EU Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries. 'Think of our whole strategy as being like a tree. The Green Leaves are the smaller cities and towns, the branches are the Green Capital and bigger cities and the trunk is the European Commission providing the solid base from which we can grow these initiatives' he concluded.