One of the world’s most innovative bridge engineers, who led the design team for Scotland’s largest infrastructure project, the Forth Replacement Crossing, is to receive the Royal Academy of Engineering’s highest individual award later this week for his exceptional contribution to engineering.

Naeem Hussain, Global Bridge Design Practice Leader at Arup, will be in London on 26 June to receive the Academy’s Prince Philip Medal for his groundbreaking work on some of the world’s most iconic bridges. His portfolio includes the world’s second longest cable-stay bridge, Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong, and the multi award-winning Hulme Arch Bridge in Manchester, UK.

Mr Hussain designs bridges that complement their environment, benefit communities and combine beautiful form and function, reflecting his background in both architecture and engineering. He was the bridge design leader for the Forth Replacement Crossing (FRC) in Edinburgh, a unique three tower, cable-stayed bridge, which is due to be completed in 2016. It uses crossed cables in the middle of the bridge spans, a world first at this scale, and will boast the world’s longest composite deck for a cable-stayed bridge. At the same time, he was also the designer for the concept and preliminary design of the bridges on the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macao Link – a 38km bridge and tunnel link in the South China Sea that will form a fixed crossing over the Pearl River Estuary, which includes the elegant Jizhou Bridge.

Mr Hussain has made major contributions to bridge design on a global scale. The design of Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong used centrifugal model testing to design the tower foundations for ship impact, an industry first, which won the IStructE Supreme Award 2010. Meanwhile his involvement in the Øresund road and rail crossing between Sweden and Denmark met strict environmental requirements and won the team the IABSE Outstanding Structure Award.

As well as his involvement in some of the world’s largest infrastructure projects, he has also engineered and managed some of the UK’s unique engineering landmarks, such as the Medway Bridge on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

Mr Hussain said: “To be awarded the Prince Philip Medal is a great honour; not just for me, but also for my colleagues in Arup and the architects we have collaborated with. In not accepting perceived design norms, we have helped push the boundaries of what is possible and in the process we have had the privilege of creating some of the most iconic and unique bridges in the world. I hope this has helped enhance the quality of public sector works and that the designs will be enjoyed by future generations.”

Lawrence Shackman, the client’s Project Manager for the Forth Replacement Crossing, said: “Naeem’s knowledge and expertise in big bridge design and construction is second to none. He has an outstanding and friendly character together with a special talent and enthusiasm, which he uses to encourage and engage all people, not just those with a technical background.”

Niels J Gimsing, Professor Emeritus at the Technical University of Denmark, said: “Naeem has always emphasised the importance of an innovative and thorough conceptual design phase to arrive at structures that are not only aesthetically very pleasing, but also characterised by a high degree of structural efficiency. The Stonecutters Bridge and FRC constitute outstanding examples of bridge technology at the beginning of the 21st century.”

Read more about Naeem Hussain

Notes for editors

  1. Naeem Hussain has 49 years of civil engineering experience. He studied engineering at the West Pakistan University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan, before focusing on architectural design studies at the Architectural Association School of Architecture London and a DIC MSc in Concrete Structures at Imperial College London. He joined Arup in 1969 and lists his career highlights as being Design Leader for the Hulme Arch Bridge in Manchester, Engineering Manager for the design of bridges on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Project Manager for the Stonecutters Bridge and Design Leader for the Forth Replacement Crossing, Scotland.

    Recognised by the industry for his significant contribution to bridge design, Mr Hussain is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, International Association for Bridge and Structural Engineers (IABSE) and Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences.
  2. In 1989, HRH The Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, Senior Fellow of The Royal Academy of Engineering, agreed to the commissioning of a gold medal to be 'awarded periodically to an engineer of any nationality who has made an exceptional contribution to engineering as a whole through practice, management or education', to be known as the Prince Philip Medal. It is awarded every two years.
  3. Naeem Hussain will receive the Prince Philip Medal this year from HRH The Princess Royal, guest of honour at the Academy’s annual awards dinner on 26 June 2012 at London’s Royal Opera House.
  4. Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers – provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy, we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers; and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
  5. Arup is the creative force at the heart of many of the world’s most prominent projects in the built environment and across industry from the Sydney Opera House to Stonecutters Bridge in Hong Kong. From 90 offices in 35 countries worldwide our 10,000 planners, designers, engineers and consultants deliver innovative projects across the world  www.arup.com

For more information please contact

Sarah Griffiths at the Royal Academy of Engineering
Tel. 020 7766 0655