THE first Saltire Awards and Commendations in civil engineering were

made in 1981 after representations to the Saltire Society from Scottish

local associations of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

John Carruthers, a member of this year's adjudication committee and a

partner in Bullen Consulting Engineers, said: ''The purpose of the award

is to recognise and encourage excellence in civil engineering in


''Getting a Saltire Award or Commendation is now much coveted. I

believe civil engineers in Scotland have very high standards anyway, but

getting a Saltire Award or Commendation is a special tribute.''

The Saltire Society was formed in 1936 by a group of people anxious to

see Scotland restored to its ''proper position as a cultural entity''.

Its name was taken from the oblique white cross on a blue ground, in

heraldry, a Saltire, the emblem of St Andrew, patron saint of Scotland.

The society has no political affiliations, but its aims include

preserving all that is best in Scottish traditions and culture, and also

to encourage new developments. In recent decades the Saltire Awards have

become highly coveted and appreciated. They cover excellence in many

different fields.

The civil engineering awards come into two categories -- design and

construction. Design awards go to the engineers of the project and

construction awards to the contractors doing the work. Runners-up

receive commendation certificates.

Mr Carruthers said: ''What we look for is innovation and excellence.

For design awards this might be excellence in concept, originality of

design, suitability for purpose, performance, aesthetic and

environmental harmony, economy of materials and labour, benefit to the

community, and overall management of the project.

''For construction awards we look for ingenuity, enterprise, economy

of construction, performance, and overall management of the project. But

I want to emphasise that the size of the project is not a significant

factor for either design or construction awards.''

The adjudication committee is made up mainly of people from the local

associations of the Institution of Civil Engineers, along with

representatives from the Federation of Civil Engineering Contractors,

the Association of Consulting Engineers, and other bodies.