Lifetime contribution award for half a century of service

A civil engineer who has been involved in almost every significant highways scheme in Kent during the last 50 years has been presented with an award.

John Farmer, a chartered member of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and Major Projects Manager at Kent County Council, was presented with a lifetime contribution to engineering award by the ICE Kent and East Sussex branch.

The award was presented by TV star and engineer Rob Bell during a dinner organised by the Rochester Bridge Trust and Royal Engineers Museum, marking the national Year of Engineering and celebrating the bicentenary of the ICE.

Sue Threader, Bridge Clerk (Chief Executive) of the Rochester Bridge Trust and outgoing Chair of the local branch of the ICE, said: “John has spent almost half a century developing, improving and maintaining the highway network that keeps the county moving. We were very pleased to be able to present him with this award to recognise the positive impact his work has had on the lives of so many.

“Civil engineers such as John are unsung heroes, so it is good to be able to celebrate his achievements.”

John has the increasingly unusual accolade of having been with the same employer for just over 48 years. Among the schemes he has been involved with are the Medway Tunnel and its approach roads; upgrades to the A2 and M20; Thanet Way; Eurokent and the East Kent Access roads; the South Thameside Development Route; Ashford shared space; Ramsgate Harbour Relief Road; and countless bypasses and relief roads across the county.

As well as his engineering achievements, John is also a great supporter and mentor of young professionals, and much valued by many as a friend and colleague.

He officially retired in 2013 but continues to ‘tie up loose ends’ on completed schemes, assisting in the majority of live projects and carrying out feasibility work for the forward plan.