Tor Inge Tjelta is the Winner of SUT’s Inaugural Mick Cook Marine Site Investigation Award

Mick Cook (left) presents the Award to Tor Inge Tjelta at the SUT’s 9thOSIG Conference. (Photo credit: The Society for Underwater Technology)

The Society for Underwater Technology’s (SUT) 9th International Offshore Site Investigation (OSIG) Conference “Innovation Geotechnologies for Energy Transition” held last week (12-14 September) at Imperial College London, saw the award of the inaugural Mick Cook Award for Significant Contribution to Marine Site Investigation and Characterization to Tor Inge Tjelta, who received a prize of £1000, a trophy and a certificate.

The conference attracted over 600 delegates from 35 countries and featured 250 papers presented over the three days with Tor Inge Tjelta speaking at the packed Conference Dinner at the Natural History Museum.

Looking back to the announcement of the winner, Mick Cook said: “Having had a wonderful and fulfilling career in which I have worked with some exceptional people, I was keen to give something back to say thank you for all the good times I have had and to all the good people I have SUTlogoencountered.

“The Mick Cook Award is just that and is aimed at recognizing ‘Significant contribution to marine site investigation and characterization with a focus on geophysics and geotechnical engineering’. The inaugural winner of the award, Tor Inge Tjelta, is an extremely worthy recipient, having contributed hugely to our industry over the past 40+ years.”

Tor Inge Tjelta’s response several days after accepting the Award still demonstrated his surprise: “Thank you all for this nomination and award. It will, perhaps more than anything, continue to inspire me for the future. And when I see who are on the committee, I consider it an absolute honour and can only say thank you very much again to you all. It came as an utter surprise and I’m completely stunned, and speechless. Thank you!”

Tor Inge Tjelta’s Mick Cook Award recognizes his many creative contributions to offshore site investigations and geotechnical engineering. The SUT’s Award panel appreciated first his integrated geological, geophysical and geotechnical approach for complex settings ranging from hazardous Caspian Sea conditions to the Dogger Bank glaciotectonic sequences.

The panel noted additionally his pioneering role in advancing sampling, in-situ and laboratory testing techniques, his fundamental role in developing deep skirted Gravity Base solutions and his effective championing of suction caisson pile technology. The Panel also applauded his exemplary role in proving these novel developments through instrumented field testing and monitoring, and advanced analysis.

The Award will be run annually and is open to all working in the field of marine site investigations and characterizations globally. The call for nominations for the 2024 award will open in June 2024. The 10th OSIG Conference will be held in 2027 – in years without an OSIG Conference the Mick Cook Award will be made at the SUT’s AGM in early December.

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