Telford Medal

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Telford Medal, in Lake Biwa Canal Museum of Kyoto, Japan

The Telford Gold Medal is the highest prize awarded by the British Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) for a paper, or series of papers; it was introduced in 1835 following a bequest made by Thomas Telford, the ICE's first president.


In 1834 Scottish civil engineer and the Institution of Civil Engineers' first President (1820-1834), Thomas Telford died, leaving in his will his library of technical works to the Institution of Civil Engineers, as well as a bequest of £2000; the interest from which was to be used to for the purpose of Annual Premiums. The council of the institute decided to expend the premiums on both honorary and monetary rewards, the honorary awards being named "Telford Medals", which would be awarded in gold, silver and bronze forms. Suitable candidates for the awards were submitters of drawings, models, diagrams or essays relating to civil engineering or any other new equipment of invention relating to engineering or surveying in general, which is regarded as most seminal and influential. The awards were to be open to both Englishmen and foreigners equally.[1] After provision for the Telford Medal, the remaining income is used for up to four annual prizes for papers presented to the Institution.[2]

The inaugural gold award was given in June 1837 to John Timperley for his account of the history and construction of the town docks of the Port of Kingston upon Hull, published in volume 1 of the Transactions of the Institution of Civil Engineers; the medals carried an image of Telford on one side, and of his Menai Bridge on the reverse. The bust of Telford was a design by William Wyon and the medal is also signed "J. S. and A. B. Wyon" a collaboration of Joseph Shepherd Wyon and his brother, Alfred Benjamin Wyon. John Macneill, James M. Rendel, Michael A. Borthwick, Peter Barlow, and Benedetto Albano received silver awards in the same session.[3]


  • Ashley, V. B.; Earp, J. E.; Coates, D. J.; Ashworth, R. (2011). "The accelerator-driven thorium reactor power station". Proceedings of the ICE - Energy 164 (3): 127. doi:10.1680/ener.2011.164.3.127. 
  • Huerta, S. (2010). "The safety of masonry buttresses". Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering History and Heritage 163: 3. doi:10.1680/ehah.2010.163.1.3. 
  • Hoult, N.; Fidler, P.; Middleton, C.; Soga, K.; Maksimović, Č.; Graham, N.; Stoianov, I.; Bennett, P. J. (2009). "Wireless sensor networks: Creating 'smart infrastructure'". Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering 162 (3): 136. doi:10.1680/cien.2009.162.3.136. 
  • Vardy, A. E. (2008). "Generation and alleviation of sonic booms from rail tunnels". Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering and Computational Mechanics 161 (3): 107. doi:10.1680/eacm.2008.161.3.107. 
  • (2007) Prof. Dr. Michael B. Abbott for his paper "Managing the inner world of infrastructure"
  • 2006 "Aznalcóllar Dam failure"
    • Alonso, E. E.; Gens, A. (2006). "Aznalcóllar dam failure. Part 1: Field observations and material properties". Géotechnique 56 (3): 165. doi:10.1680/geot.2006.56.3.165. 
    • Gens, A.; Alonso, E. E. (2006). "Aznalcóllar dam failure. Part 2: Stability conditions and failure mechanism". Géotechnique 56 (3): 185. doi:10.1680/geot.2006.56.3.185. 
    • Alonso, E. E.; Gens, A. (2006). "Aznalcóllar dam failure. Part 3: Dynamics of the motion". Géotechnique 56 (3): 203. doi:10.1680/geot.2006.56.3.203. 
  • Sharman, H. (2005). "Why wind power works for Denmark" (PDF). Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering 158 (2): 66. doi:10.1680/cien.2005.158.2.66.  edit
  • Sellin, R. H. J.; Van Beesten, D. P. (2004). "Conveyance of a managed vegetated two-stage river channel". Proceedings of the ICE - Water Management 157: 21. doi:10.1680/wama.2004.157.1.21. 
  • Wheeler, S. J.; Buisson, M. S. R.; Sharma, R. S. (2003). "Coupling of hydraulic hysteresis and stress–strain behaviour in unsaturated soils". Géotechnique 53: 41. doi:10.1680/geot.2003.53.1.41. 
  • Zdravković, L.; Potts, D. M.; Hight, D. W. (2002). "The effect of strength anisotropy on the behaviour of embankments on soft ground". Géotechnique 52 (6): 447. doi:10.1680/geot.2002.52.6.447. 
  • Batten, M.; Powrie, W. (2000). "Measurement and analysis of temporary prop loads at Canary Wharf underground station, east London". Proceedings of the ICE - Geotechnical Engineering 143 (3): 151. doi:10.1680/geng.2000.143.3.151. 
  • Professor Scott Sloan, (2000) ARC Centre of Excellence in Geotechnical Science and Engineering, University of Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Hai-Sui Yu Professor of Geotechnical Engineering and Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Nottingham[4]
  • Dr Graham W Plant and Douglas E Oakervee (1999) "Hong Kong International Airport - civil engineering design"[5]
  • Clarke, R. P. J.; MacKenzie, C. N. P. (1994). "Overcoming Ground Difficulties at Tooting Bec. (Winner of 1995 Telford Medal)". Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering 102 (6): 60. doi:10.1680/icien.1994.27270. 
  • Alonso, E. E.; Gens, A.; Lloret, A. (1993). "The landslide of Cortes de Pallas, Spain". Géotechnique 43 (4): 507. doi:10.1680/geot.1993.43.4.507. 
  • 1993 "Strengthening and Refurbishmentof The Severn Crossing"
    • Flint, A. R. (1992). "Strengthening and Refurbishment of the Severn Crossing. (Joint Winner of 1993 Telford Medal)". Proceedings of the ICE - Civil Engineering 92 (2): 57. doi:10.1680/icien.1992.18768. 
    • Flint, A. R. (1992). "Strengthening and Refurbishment of Severn Crossing. Part 2: Design. (Joint Winner of 1993 Telford Medal)". Proceedings of the ICE - Structures and Buildings 94: 7. doi:10.1680/istbu.1992.18140. 
  • Bridle, R. C.; Vaughan, P. R.; Jones, H. N. (1985). "Empingham Dam - Design, Construction and Performance". ICE Proceedings 78 (2): 247. doi:10.1680/iicep.1985.1002. 
  • Rowe, P. W. (1968). "Summary. The Influence of Geological Features of Clay Deposits on the Design and Performance of Sand Drains". ICE Proceedings 39 (3): 465. doi:10.1680/iicep.1968.8075. 
  • Geoffrey Binnie (1968)[6]
  • Gerald Lacey (1958) Professor of Civil Engineering University of Roorkee near Delhi. `regime theory' for the design of major irrigation canals and Stable Channel Flow.[7]*Colquhoun, C. B. H. (1949). "The Brabazon Assembly Hall at Filton. (Includes Plates Appendices and Photographs)". Journal of the ICE 32 (5): 4. doi:10.1680/IJOTI.1949.13079. 
  • 1935 B. M. Hellstrom (London)[8]
  • Bradfield, J. J. C. (1934). "The Sydney Harbour Bridge and Approaches. (Abridged). (Includes Photograph)". Minutes of the Proceedings 238 (1934): 310. doi:10.1680/imotp.1934.15305. 
  • Sydney Lionel Rothery, (1928) A.M.I.C.E., paper describing the salient engineering features of an international irrigation project in California, United States, and in Lower California, Mexico.[9]
  • Faber, O. (1928). "Plastic Yield, Shrinkage, and Other Problems of Concrete, and Their Effect on Design". Minutes of the Proceedings 225 (1928): 27. doi:10.1680/imotp.1928.14232.  edit
  • James R. Forgie (1915) consulting engineer, paper on "The Laxaxalpam Aqueduct Tunnels in Mexico". Minutes of the Proceedings, 200 (1915)[10]
  • Sir Dugald Clerk, (1907) mechanical engineer, born Glasgow.[11]
  • W. M. Mordey (1902)[12]
  • Beckett, W. T. C. (1901). "The Bridges over the Orissa Rivers on the East Coast Extension of the Bengal-Nagpur Railway. (Including Appendix and Plate at Back of Volume)". Minutes of the Proceedings 145 (1901): 2681. doi:10.1680/imotp.1901.18573. 
  • Bindon Blood Stoney (1874)[13]
  • Gordon, G. (1872). "On the Value of Water, and Its Storage and Distribution in Southern India". Minutes of the Proceedings 33 (1872): 376. doi:10.1680/imotp.1872.22928. 
  • Dobson, E. (1870). "Memoir on the Public Works of the Province of Canterbury, New Zealand. (Includes Plates and Appendix)". Minutes of the Proceedings 29 (1870): 99. doi:10.1680/imotp.1870.23068. 
  • Matthew Digby Wyatt (1866)[14]
  • Sir Henry Bessemer (1860?)[15]
  • Colt, S. (1852). "On the Application of Machinery to the Manufacture of Rotating Chambered-Breech Fire-Arms, and Other Peculiarities of Those Arms. (Including Plates)". Minutes of the Proceedings 11 (1852): 30. doi:10.1680/imotp.1852.24021. 
  • Alexander Mitchell (1849) 'A simple means of constructing durable lighthouses in deep water in shifting sands'.[16]
  • Stephen Ballard (1842)[17]
  • Rendel, J. M. (1838). "Particulars of the Construction of the Floating Bridge Lately Established Across the Hamoaze, Between Torpoint in the County of Cornwall and Devonport in Devonshire. (Including Plates)". ICE Transactions 2: 213. doi:10.1680/itrcs.1838.24399. 
  • Rendel, J. M. (1836). "Particulars on the Construction of Lary Bridge, Near Plymouth (Including Plate)". ICE Transactions 1 (1836): 99. doi:10.1680/itrcs.1836.24483. 
  • Timperley, J. (1836). "An Account of the Harbour and Docks at Kingston-Upon-Hull. (Including Plates)". ICE Transactions 1 (1836): 1. doi:10.1680/itrcs.1836.24437. 


  1. ^ Society for the Illustration and Encouragement of Practical Science (London, England) (1836), "Another Bequest to the Ingenious", The Magazine of popular science and journal of the useful arts 1, John W. Parker, pp. 398–400 
  2. ^ ICE Prizes for published papers
  3. ^ Sources:
  4. ^ Purdue University School of Engineering11th C W Lovell Distinguished Lecture
  5. ^ "Douglas E. Oakervee, OBE – Chartered Civil Engineer". Thames Estuary Research and Development company. Retrieved 14 June 2012. 
  6. ^ Muir Wood, Sir Alan (1990). Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society: Geoffrey Morse Binnie (13 November 1908 – 5 April 1989). London: Royal Society. pp. 45–57. 
  7. ^ ICID.UK the British section of the International Commission on Irrigation and Drainage
  8. ^ Nature 136, 715-715 (2 November 1935)
  9. ^ "TELFORD PREMIUM.". The Sydney Morning Herald (National Library of Australia). 26 June 1923. p. 9. Retrieved 31 October 2013. 
  10. ^ Duffield, Frank G., ed., The Numismatist: An Illustrated Monthly Magazine for Those Interested in Coins, Medals, and Paper Money, Volume 29, January 1916, page 11.
  11. ^ H. M. Ross, ‘Clerk, Sir Dugald (1854–1932)’, rev. John Bosnell, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004, accessed 31 Oct 2013]]
  12. ^ "The Institution of Civil Engineers" The Times (London). Thursday, 1 May 1902. (36756), p. 6.
  13. ^ Turtle Bunbury
  14. ^ Directory of British Architects, 1834-1914: Vol. 2 (L-Z)
  15. ^ Sir Henry Bessemer 200th Anniversary The Crystal Palace Foundation
  16. ^ Dictionary of Irish Architects
  17. ^ Philip Weaver, ‘Ballard, Stephen (1804–1890)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Oct 2008; online edn, May 2010, accessed 11 June 2013

External links[edit]