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UtterBerry wins 2015 Constructing Excellence Innovation Award and is hailed as “a quantum step in measurement sensors”

last modified Nov 09, 2015 11:50 AM
UtterBerry wireless sensors, devised and developed by CSIC PhD student, Heba Bevan, will “revolutionise civil engineering instrumentation and monitoring, rendering the task easier to perform, with better measurement precision, and yielding dependable results in real time” according to judges at the Constructing Excellence Awards 2015.
UtterBerry wins 2015 Constructing Excellence Innovation Award and is hailed as “a quantum step in measurement sensors”

Heba Bevan receives her award from Nigel Blacklock, Head of Technical at Sika, sponsor of the Innovation category

UtterBerry has won the 2015 Constructing Excellence in London and the South East Innovation Award, announced last week at the Lancaster London Hotel. UtterBerry will now go forward to the National Awards held later in the year.

A CSIC spin-out, UtterBerry is a wireless sensor developed for civil engineering instrumentation and monitoring. The miniature sensor makes monitoring closed or inaccessible areas and structures easier to perform and the intelligent device offers impressive measurement precision and dependable results in real time. UtterBerry combines nearly zero-power electronics, a powerful microprocessor, artificial intelligence and wireless communications; each sensor weighs 15 grams and is about the size of a small box of matches.

The Constructing Excellence Awards key criteria included: overall project installation time/complexity (impacting overall price); cost; equipment weight (affecting transportation, fixing); automation of analysis (some systems required backroom treatment of data before reporting); calibration; cabling (installation, weight, cost) and health and safety. Judges claimed UtterBerry sensors proved superior in all categories when benchmarked against other technologies.

Judges comments on the UtterBerry included: “This is a brand new technology (patent pending), representing a quantum step in measurement sensors – not just providing data but also intuitively merging geo-technical with artificial intelligence. The innovation overcomes site challenges each time it is used, has harnessed the latest emerging technologies and hugely improves on what currently exists. This product has been developed from good solid R&D and demonstrates that thorough research, allied with practical testing produces impressive next generation products.”

Heba Bevan said: “I am delighted that UtterBerry has won the Constructing Excellence Innovation Award. Being part of the CSIC team brings the opportunity to work closely with industry and this has enabled me to deploy my technology at many live sites where it has delivered cost-effective results every time. The UtterBerry sensor is a potential game-changer for civil engineering - it enables smart infrastructure monitoring.”

UtterBerry sensors collect, process and interpret measurements in real time, transmitting the information wirelessly to any internet-enabled device. They also use artificial intelligence to analyse trends that predict pending and future events.

Heba Bevan was formerly a CPU design engineer with ARM. This background equipped her with experience and knowledge about emerging technologies - how their power consumption and reliability could be improved, and how the hardware could be optimised, miniaturised and made robust enough for the construction industry. Heba also researched low-power electronics at CSIC, first testing her technology by independently deploying 52 sensors in the Liverpool Street station Post Office tunnel.

UtterBerry is now being deployed on major engineering sites. It saved millions of pounds and provided unparalleled monitoring technology, in April 2014, when it was deployed at the Costain Skanska JV Crossrail tunneling, at Mile End Park and Eleanor Street.

Deployed in a sealed environment, not safe for human access, the system was set up and running within one hour; the devices – which  require no wires for data or power or working at height, met the desired client outcomes with  measurement algorithms delivering meaningful information to site engineers.

“This is a great example” said Derek Rees, Regional Director, Constructing Excellence: “Our awards recognise the very best companies, collaborations and projects in the region and I hope you will be inspired to adopt some of the new and better ways of working that our winners and finalists have shared.”

No stranger to awards, UtterBerry also won the Award for Technical Excellence and the Product and Equipment Innovation Award at the Ground Engineering Awards 2015 and Premier Digital Innovation Award at the CIOB International Innovation & Research Awards 2014.


Editor's note: Constructing Excellence in London and the South East is part of a national industry network charged with driving the change agenda in construction. Constructing Excellence is a not-for-profit organisation, supported nationally by thousands of companies committed to developing and sharing knowledge between industry, clients, government, education and research. For more information see Constructing Excellence Awards.