Prior to working more like a semi-professional photographer, Simon was an award-winning Civil and Structural Engineer, with 35 years experience in the design and construction of major bridges all over the world.
Simon was the first employee of Benaim in 1982 and worked for the company until 2011. Benaim was a consultancy that specialised in the design of major bridges for contractors. Simon then led the sale of Benaim to Scott Wilson in 2008 but left in 2011 to operate as an independent consultant and photographer.
Simon is still a recognised leader in the construction industry for the design of major bridges and viaducts, and has written many papers on bridge design and construction.
He was very proud to have won the IABSE Milne Medal in 2012 for his personal contribution to excellence in Structural Engineering. His IABSE Milne Medal paper was then published in The Structural Engineer in February 2013, entitled Prestressing: recovery of the lost art.
He has been heavily involved with the Concrete Bridge Development Group (CBDG) since 2003 and was its Chairman in 2012-15. He was the author of 12 articles on Concrete Bridge Design and Construction that were published by the CBDG in The Structural Engineer in 2014 – the third article of this series is shown below, as an example. These 12 articles describe the whole range of design and construction issues related to all concrete bridges. For the full set of articles, which were also published as CBDG Technical Notes 1 to 12, see the CBDG website at www.cbdg.org.uk
Simon is also the author of a number of Technical Guides for the CBDG. He was heavily involved in the production of CBDG Technical Guide 5 on the Fast Construction of Concrete Bridges that was published in 2005, and he then developed a wholly new method of building short to medium-span bridges that he described in the CBDG Technical Guide 11 entitled Modular Precast Concrete Bridges, which was published in 2008. Both of these guides can be seen at www.cbdg.org.uk
He then produced and wrote the whole of CBDG Technical Guide 14 on Best Construction Methods for Concrete Bridge Decks – Cost Data, which was published in 2015. This was the first time that such detailed programme and cost data had been made available for every type of concrete bridge.
Simon has also just completed writing the new CBDG Technical Guide 15 - Bridge Replacement Guide, which will be published in November 2017. It has been sponsored by Highways England, Transport Scotland and Network Rail, amongst others. It will be available free to all on-line via the CBDG and Concrete Society websites. It describes the best solutions for typical bridge replacement schemes - these tend to be 10-40m single spans that need to be built quickly, safely and effectively over live carriageways. As well as standard Highway and Railway Bridge in-situ and precast options, it also describes an innovative precast system for concrete Railway Bridges, which allows solutions of the same depth as any steelwork option to be built as quickly and economically as any steelwork option - a major step forwards in the UK market, now to be known as the "UU-Bridge". The guide also describes some new methods for building in-situ schemes quickly and easily in these situations. Further details of all these systems were described by Simon at the CBDG Annual Conference in June 2017 at the Institution of Structural Engineers HQ in London. A special article on the "UU-Bridge" is also to be published by The Concrete Centre in the November 2017 issue of Concrete Quarterly.
Simon has also designed many award-winning bridges, which have been recognised for their elegance, economy and innovation. These include the East Moors Viaduct in Cardiff, the River Dee Viaduct in Clwyd, the Belfast Cross Harbour Road and Rail Links, the STAR LRTS Viaducts in Kuala Lumpur, the A13 West of Heathway Viaduct in East London, the Bhairab Bridge in Bangladesh and the multi-award winning Clackmannanshire Bridge across the Firth of Forth. He wrote the whole of the ICE paper on Clackmannanshire Bridge that is shown below.
Finally, he wrote a summary paper about the great care needed in good bridge design that was published in The Structural Engineer in January 2015, entitled Landmark bridges – utilitas versus venustas.
Simon has also won the following major awards:
1. Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Bill Curtin Medal 1992 - For best innovative design in civil engineering paper - River Dee Viaduct ICE paper (April 1991)
2. ICE John Henry Garrood King Medal 2010 - For best bridges/tunnels paper - Clackmannanshire Bridge ICE paper (December 2009)
3. IABSE Milne Medal 2012 - For major and personal contribution to excellence in Structural Engineering design
4. Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Murray Buxton Award 2014 - For best general paper published in The Structural Engineer – IABSE Milne Medal IStructE paper (February 2013)
5. Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE) Oscar Faber Award 2017 - For best paper presented for discussion at the Institution - Best Construction Methods for Concrete Bridge Decks - Cost Data (April 2016)