John Richardson awarded prestigious George Bessey Award 2016

6 Jun 2016

Following their 2016 AGM the SCI Construction Materials Group presented its prestigious George Bessey Award to John Richardson. The award allows the Group to recognise the efforts of dedicated and exceptional members, who have willingly given their time to recruit new members, administer the Group's affairs, write for publications, and/or organise some of its conferences, meetings and symposia, or for an outstanding lecture presented at a Constructions Materials Group meeting. The selection of candidates for the George Bessey Award is made by a panel consisting of the current Group Chairman and three past Chairmen.

In December 2007 the first recipient of the George Bessey Award was John Buekett for his long and distinguished service as Committee Member, Honorary Treasurer and Chairman of the Group. Then in 2009, the George Bessey Award celebrated the contributions made to SCI by Ron Stephenson, whose industrial R&D career had a wide span across disinfectants and road construction materials. Ron became a member of SCI in 1974; two years later, he joined the Construction Materials Group (then called the Road and Building Group). He served the Group as Programme Secretary, Vice Chairman, and Chairman.

Now in 2016, John Richardson becomes the third recipient of the George Bessey Award. John has a BSc Honours Degree in Applied Chemistry and is a Chartered Chemist and Chartered Engineer (Energy Institute). He is currently Head of Technical Development Services to Colas Ltd for their operations in Great Britain and the Isle of Man. He had previously spent 23 years with George Wimpey Company involved with quality control, quality management, research and development, and overseas contracting. He transferred to Tarmac Quarry Products following a company asset swap where he spent 4 years mainly involved in design and evaluation of pavements, before joining Colas Ltd in 2000. He is a member of various committees of trade associations and standards-making bodies. He has contributed to various published papers, including co-author of the textbook Asphalts in Road Construction, and was awarded the William Webb Prize as co-author of the best paper in the Transport journal at the Institution of Civil Engineers. John joined SCI in 1983 and soon became an active member on the committees of the CIHT London Region and SCI’s Construction Materials Group, helping to organise lectures and meetings. Throughout his time with the Construction Materials Group John has been able to find a fantastic range of speakers for symposia, drawing on his impressive list of business contacts in companies worldwide.

After the formal business of the 2016 AGM, John gave an informative lecture on the subject of Bitumen Emulsion Spray for Road Pavements. His talk considered the role of bitumen emulsion bond coats in achieving the design objectives of the pavement and addressed the following statements:-

  • The principal aims when designing a road pavement structure is to ensure the constructed pavement will give good ride qualities and distribute traffic stresses effectively through the pavement structure so that the soil is protected.
  • Given that pavement structures are composite in nature, it makes sense that the layers must be bonded together to transfer traffic stresses effectively and to give the pavement the degree of stiffness necessary to achieve this.
  • Damage due to fatigue and deformation proceeds at a faster rate when a proper bond has not been created and therefore the structural service life of the road is diminished.
  • De-lamination failures of surface layers due to lack of bond are more easily detected but the integrity of the whole pavement is the principal objective.
  • Water damage to the pavement materials is also of concern and the bitumen emulsion spray has a part to play here too.

The lecture was followed by a lively questions and answers session before John was formally given the George Bessey Award in the form of a certificate signed by the Group's Chairman. The award was also accompanied by a gift of the recipient's choice for which John had selected a hybrid bicycle and accessories that were shown on screen.

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