Award-winning engineer meets medal's namesake in Chesterfield

An award-winning engineer is pictured with the statue of the founding father of railways after whom his medal is named.

Monday, 24th May 2021, 9:14 am
Dr Peter Broughton with his George Stephenson Medal by the statue outside Chesterfield railway station.

Dr Peter Broughton was presented with the George Stephenson Medal by the Institute of Civil Engineers in 1993 for his work on the Ekofisk Oil Platform Protective Barrier in Norway.

He brought his medal to Derbyshire on a visit to see his brother, John, who lives in Calver. With the trains carrying less passengers than normal, Dr Broughton decided to travel by rail rather than driving from his home near London.

The engineer got off the train at Chesterfield where a statue of George Stephenson greets visitors outside the station. John said: “He seemed quite impressed with the life-size representation of a remarkable man - self taught illiterate until adulthood but still was part of the huge advances which were part of the industrial revolution.”

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Dr Broughton, who is 76, is still active in engineering and is currently working on a project to develop wind turbines for deep sea positioning.

Engineers involved in the Ekofisk Oil Platform Protective Barrier had to build the 106m-high structure, which weighed 125,000 tonnes, in two semi-circular sections. Two towing fleets, involving 18 vessels, were involved in a delicate business to get the barrier segments to the complex and passed as close as ten metres to platforms and rigs on the way.

The two halves were connected together round the Ekofisk tank. Engineers filled the 24 cells in each unit with one million tonnes of gravel ballast to keep the barrier firmly on the seabed. The barrier was installed without having to shut down production which, it is estimated, would have cost £12million a day.

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