Lars Pettersson, Esra Bayoglu Flener and Håkan Sundquist, Sweden

The Outstanding Paper Award is remitted each year to the author(s) of a paper published in the preceding year’s issues of the IABSE quarterly Journal Structural Engineering International (SEI), encouraging and rewarding contributions of the highest quality. The Award is presented in the categories ‘Scientific Paper’ and ‘Technical Report’.

IABSE has awarded the Outstanding Paper Award 2016 in the category ‘Scientific Paper’ to: “Design of Soil–Steel Composite Bridges” by Lars Pettersson, Esra Bayoglu Flener and Håkan Sundquist, SEI 2/2015 (May), pp. 159-172.

The research work presented in this paper deals with what are commonly known as soil-steel flexible culverts. The word culvert is, however, usually associated with small pipes in road embankments. Over the years, the flexible culverts have grown bigger and today they are what one could call bridges; they are not just culverts anymore. A more proper name today would therefore be Soil-Steel Composite Bridges. This explains the title of the paper. The research work has been ongoing for more than 30 years at the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Division of Structural Engineering and Bridges, at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden. Realising that spans have grown larger and heights of cover smaller, the aim was to develop a design method that could be used in everyday design work. The design method developed, based on theoretical studies as well as several full scale tests, is today a code requirement in Sweden, Finland, and Norway and is also in use in several other countries in Europe. This paper describes the design method itself and the development behind it as well as ongoing research and planned future developments.