Central Dredging Association

Understanding dredging

Gerard van Raalte honoured with CEDA Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to dredging & CEDA

CEDA is pleased to announce that the winner of this year’s CEDA Lifetime Achievement Award is long-standing CEDA member Gerard van Raalte.

The Award, which is part of the DPC Innovation Awards, recognises an individual who has provided a significant, and proactive, contribution to the field of dredging, and is considered by the CEDA Board to have been pivotal in the development and advancement of the organisation. A CEDA Board member explained “We had a tough task in narrowing down an outstanding shortlist to one particularly deserving candidate but, in the end, we all agreed that the person who was most deserving of the award, this year, was Gerard van Raalte”. Van Raalte (in the photo below left) was presented with the award, by CEDA Vice-President, Will Shields (right), NewWaves Solutions, UK, at the DPC Innovation Awards gala dinner, in London, UK on 29th November.

News - CEDA Award 2017 - GvR Van Raalte, who is now retired, has been making his mark on the industry for more than 40 years. He is an experienced coastal engineer specialising in developing innovations for dredging and reclamation. As his career progressed, he became increasingly dedicated to improving the environmental aspects of dredging. In his time at Hydronamic, the Boskalis engineering arm, he had key roles on many international projects involving complex environmental challenges. In the current climate of environmental sustainability, he has been a pioneer through the EcoShape Building with Nature programme, adopting dredging methods and solutions that work with and enhance the natural environment.

Van Raalte’s commitment to dredging is reflected in his activity in CEDA where he was instrumental in the development of the CEDA Environment Commission (CEC). He has been an active member of CEC for 20 years, and he has also been a member of the Environmental Committee of the European Dredging Association for 16 years. He frequently lectured on environmental aspects of dredging at CEDA-IADC training courses and IADC dredging seminars. He actively participated in CEDA and WODA conferences and contributed to several CEDA information papers and PIANC reports. He was also a key contributor to two joint CEDA-IADC books, on the environmental aspects of dredging, and he is actively involved in the third joint book entitled ’Dredging for sustainable infrastructure’ which will publish in 2018.

Van Raalte is well-known, respected and appreciated, internationally and across the industry. He has always been an ambassador for CEDA, and the dredging industry, and even in his retirement he continues to promote and contribute to it.

When giving the award to van Raalte, Shields said: “From my time, early on, in the industry, Gerard has been at the forefront of promoting good practice and, to me, he was the face of dredging, even before my time with CEDA.

News - CEDA Lifetime Award 2017 - TableOn receiving the award van Raalte said “It’s a privilege to have been able to work with CEDA, and share knowledge about dredging, and I’m honoured to receive this award. I’d like to thank Boskalis for allowing me the time to contribute, as part of my job. I’d also like to thank my wife, Ann, for allowing me to do so in my private time, and accepting it when I regularly disappeared to read papers. In exchange she often accompanied me on interesting trips for international working groups and committees - I would not have been able to do it without her support.”  (In the photo: The CEDA table at the Awards gala. CEDA members from r to l: Gerard van Raalte, Ann van Raalte, Will Shields, Johan Pennekamp, Anna Csiti, Roderik Hoekstra). 

He added, “I must also thank three people who inspired and stimulated me to perform this mission. Nick Bray, formerly of DRL and later HR Wallingford, and Neville Burt, also of HR Wallingford, who would both have been worthy recipients of this award had it existed a few years ago, and CEDA’s Anna Csiti. And finally, I would like to thank those who nominated me, the CEDA Board, and Will Shields for his kind words this evening. After this award I will continue to enjoy contributing to CEDA’s work.”

The CEDA Board were delighted to present this year’s CEDA Lifetime Achievement Award to Gerard van Raalte in appreciation of everything that he has done, and continues to do, for CEDA and the broader industry.

Congratulations must also go to two other individuals who received Awards that night: Roderik Hoekstra, Deltares, Young CEDA Board member, for DPC Rising Start Award and Antony Bates, Anthony Bates Partnership Dredging and Coastal Consultants, founding memberr of the UK Section of CEDA, who won the DPC Magazine Commendation for Services to the Industry Award.

We also congratulate several CEDA Corporate Members for winning in one of the innovation award categories: Jan De Nul Group, HR Wallingford, Port of Antwerp, and Van Oord.

View some more Award gala photos here.