September’s top 10 engineering contract wins

Each month The Engineer picks 10 of the most notable contract news stories from our Business Briefs archive. This month’s selection includes contracts signed in the UK’s construction and genomics markets and news from the international defence and aerospace industries.

At the beginning of the month, Sea Energy Renewables (SER), a subsidiary of offshore wind development company Sea nergy, agreed a Heads of Terms (HoT) agreement with the Crown Estate for the funding of certain Inch Cape wind farm development activities.

The HoT agreement states that the Crown Estate will directly invest up to £1.4m in key surveys and reports, including scoping reports, geophysical surveys and bird and mammal surveys, which will be directly contracted and managed by SER.

The Crown Estate and SER will now seek to finalise a formal development agreement in respect of these arrangements.

Meanwhile, the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) revealed that it is investing up to £5m in research and development projects using genomics-based technologies.

This initiative seeks to highlight the opportunities created by the decrease in cost and increase in speed in high-throughput sequencing technology.

Opening in October, the competition is designed to encourage consortia to work together to exploit advances in genomics technologies.

The TSB is seeking to support projects that utilise genomics technologies and techniques − in particular those using high-throughput sequencing for genome analysis − to enable the development of new products and processes.

In the UK software sector, Majenta, a provider of product lifecycle information management software and IT infrastructure solutions, announced that it has been awarded a contract by automotive vehicles manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover for the supply and implementation of 20 licences of Autodesk Alias Surface 3D modelling software.

Installed in the car firm’s UK design studios, the software is required for the design development of the exterior and interior components of new Jaguar and Land Rover models.

There was news from within the UK construction industry that, more than 40 years after completing work on the original Tyne Tunnel, Sunderland-based construction firm Brims was putting the finishing touches to the ventilation building for the new crossing.

The structure will serve the vehicle tunnel that is currently under construction, extracting vehicle emissions from the new crossing and discharging it through its 50ft chimney.

Contracted to design and build the new structure, the Brims team has been working on the project since early 2009 and began construction in September last year.

Also in the North East, building contractor Brims Construction was secured for a £6m scheme to convert a derelict former toffee factory into a centre for creative businesses in Newcastle and Gateshead.

Brims has been chosen as the preferred building contractor to develop the former Maynard’s factory in Newcastle’s Lower Ouseburn Valley, providing approximately 1,400m2 of workspace in 25 new units of semi-managed office space.

The company will be on site in a matter of weeks, with building work due to take approximately 12 months.

In the same sector, engineering consultancy WYG revealed that it has been appointed by the London Borough of Lewisham to provide structural engineering expertise for the district’s new £10.6m leisure facility. 

The redevelopment will see the Victorian baths brought back to life with a part demolition and new build offering the latest leisure facilities to the local residents of Forest Hill. 

The new leisure centre will keep the existing frontage, which will be refurbished to form the main entrance, while the new building will include a six-lane, 25m pool, a 16.7m learner pool, fitness gym, two studios, a community room and a café.

WYG will be involved in the analysis and design of the development throughout the estimated two-year project, which is anticipated to start at the end of this year.

In international news, defence and security company Saab received a four-year SEK312m (£203m) order from FMV – the Swedish Defence Materiel Administration – regarding the integration of the active radar-guided Beyond Visual Range (BVR) missile, Meteor.

The integration means that Meteor will be adapted to other Gripen systems, such as the radar and displays.

The order includes test flights and test firing, as well as the integration of Meteor with support and maintenance systems such as simulators and planning computers.

The Swedish Gripen C/D aircraft will also have a two-way datalink for communication between the aircraft and the missile once it has been fired.

Then came news that NASA has awarded a five-year $1.2bn (£0.8m) contract extension to aerospace and defence company Boeing to continue engineering support of the International Space Station (ISS) until 30 September 2015.

Work under the contract extension is intended to maintain the station at peak performance levels so that the full value of the research laboratory is available to NASA, its international partners, other US government agencies and private companies.

Contract wins were also announced in the international construction sector, as construction company Balfour Beatty, in a joint venture with commercial contractor McCarthy Building Companies, was selected to provide design and build services for the $503m (£322m) Fort Hood Replacement Hospital project at Fort Hood, Texas.

The 944,000ft2 facility will replace the existing 45-year-old Carl R Darnall Army Medical Center and provide a new healthcare facility for US service members and their families.

Construction on the project for the US Army Corps of Engineers is scheduled to start in April 2011 and complete in May 2014.

Scientific and engineering solutions provider Science Applications was also awarded a prime construction contract, which involves the design and build of a composite building material manufacturing facility for construction materials company Boral Composites.

The contract is valued at more than $11m (£7m) and the project is scheduled for completion in June 2011.

Work will be performed by Science Applications’ wholly owned design-build subsidiary Benham.

Design work will be performed in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, with construction performed at the new facility’s site in East Spencer, North Carolina.