The Steel Bridge Group (SBG)

The Steel Bridge Group (SBG)

The Steel Bridge Group

The Steel Bridge Group (SBG) is an active technical forum formed 20 years ago to consider matters of high priority interest to the steel bridge construction industry in the UK and to suggest strategies for improving the use of steel in bridgework. Its vertically integrated Membership comprises experts working for clients, designers, fabricators, contractors and its secretariat is undertaken by SCI. Over the years, a key focus of the group has been to identify and report technical issues with the use of the Eurocodes and to produce complementary guidance reflecting UK best practice. The group has recently published the 6th Issue of its Guidance Notes on best practice in steel bridge construction (SCI P185), which are widely used within the steel bridge construction industry. Whilst the group will continue to look into bridge design, specification and fabrication issues, the SBG is now initiating activities to consider supply chain and whole life cycle issues.
Membership of the Steel Bridge Group

The SBG comprises both full and corresponding Members. Full Members of the SBG are experts willing to contribute to the activities of the group by typically meeting twice a year to prioritise activities and exchange information whilst also advancing SBG projects throughout the year. Corresponding Members are kept up-to-date with SBG activities and are invited to raise technical issues and to review and challenge the guidance developed by the SBG.

“The Steel Bridge Group was formed to address high-importance issues in the steel bridge industry with a view to making the specification of steel bridges as efficient, economic and sustainable as possible. We continue to be committed to addressing the most relevant challenges which, of course, means we must first identify what these are. Whilst we endeavour to do this through our membership, we are always delighted to receive your suggestions for areas we should be focussing on.

If you wish to join the Steel Bridge Group and believe you would make an active contribution to its objectives then please can I encourage you to write to the secretary with a short statement on what you would contribute and please include a CV highlighting your experience with steel bridges.”
Chris Hendy, SBG Chair

Current Full SBG Members are:
  • Nataliya Aleksieva - Network Rail
  • Charles Cocksedge - AECOM
  • Tom Cosgrove - BCSA
  • David Dickson - Consultant (formerly of Mabey Bridge)
  • Tony Harris - WSP
  • Chris Hendy - Atkins
  • Richard Hornby - Arup
  • David Iles - SCI
  • Steve Matthews - WSP
  • Jim O'Neil - Consultant (formerly of Cleveland Bridge)
  • Ian Palmer - Mott MacDonald
  • James Parsons - Cass Hayward
  • Steve Raw - Severfield
  • Richard Thomas - Mabey Bridge
  • Neil Tilley - ArcelorMittal
  • Chris Walker - COWI
  • Arran Wharton - Costain

Technical Guidance

Over the years, the SBG has contributed to the development of a series of technical publications to support steel bridge construction:
  • Steel Bridge Group: Guidance Notes on best practice in steel bridge construction (SCI P185 6th Issue)
  • Design guide for steel railway bridges (SCI P318)
  • Composite highway bridge design (SCI P356)
  • Composite highway bridge design: Worked examples (SCI P357)
  • Steel Bridge Group: Model Project Specification for the Execution of Steelwork in Bridges (SCI P382)
  • Design of composite highway bridges curved in plan (SCI P393)
  • Determining design displacements for bridge movement bearings (SCI P406)
  • Steel Bridge Group: Completion of Appendix 18/1 for use with Specifications for Highway and Railway Steelwork (SCI P418)
  • Determining the buckling resistance of steel and composite bridge structures (SCI ED008)

SCI Members can view these publications on Steelbiz

Recent SBG projects

Organisation of a workshop on steel bridge construction issues
The SBG organised a consultative workshop on steel bridge construction which was held in May 2017. Aimed primarily at main contractors, it sought to identify the problems they face throughout the lifecycle of steel bridge projects, and investigated what can be done to make steel bridge solutions more competitive, easier to procure and more appealing from a whole life perspective. The outcomes of this workshop have been used to provide direction for SBG's future activities.

Development of SBG guidance for designers in relation to contract specific Appendix 18/1 for the structural steelwork specifications from Highways England and Network Rail
The recently published structural steelwork specifications from Highways England and Network Rail were developed in accordance with EN 1090-2, the European execution standard. For some of the clauses, designers are given a choice between several options or have the possibility to specify additional information - and this must be referenced in a 'contract specific Appendix 18/1'. The SBG has recently released guidance to help designers compile such Appendix 18/1 according to best practice in steel bridge construction, which is mainly taken from the guidance from SCI P382 (SBG's Model Project Specification), updated where necessary. This new Publication is entitled 'Steel Bridge Group: Completion of Appendix 18/1 for use with Specifications for Highway and Railway Steelwork' (SCI P418) and is available from Steelbiz.

Current SBG projects

Development of new SBG guidance
The workshop on steel bridge construction organised in May 2017 highlighted the need for additional SBG guidance on the following key topics:
  • Collaboration;
  • BIM;
  • Design for operation and maintenance;
  • Design competence.
Initial work on the development of such additional guidance is currently being carried out.

Raising awareness of existing bridge design guidance
The workshop also highlighted the need to raise awareness of existing bridge design guidance. As such, the SBG has undertaken a number of activities for this purpose, including a participation to the Bridges 2018 conference held in March 2018.

For more information on the SBG, please contact:

Guillaume Vannier

Secretary for the Steel Bridge Group

Silwood Park, Unit D

Buckhurst Road




Tel: +44 (0)1344 636 550