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Guidelines for Authors – Technical Papers Competition

Competition Rules

  1. The authors must have worked on or be associated with the project and the piece of work they are writing about.
  2. The article must be specific to the HS2 project.
  3. The article must have a learning legacy, ie, the innovation or learning shared is not just bespoke to HS2 and is relevant to the wider industry
  4. The paper should focus on a technical discussion and not be for promotional purposes
  5. The paper must not be overly critical of the project either directly or by implication.
  6. The paper must not focus on unresolved construction risks
  7. The paper must deal with completed phases of work that have been delivered successfully but can make recommendations for subsequent phases of work.
  8. Abstracts and papers must comply with copyright law.
  9. By submitting a paper the authors grant HS2, and any of its successors, transferable and non-exclusive right to freely publish the paper
  10. The paper should be a maximum of 5000 words
  11. For 2022, existing technical papers may be submitted but will only be considered for the book publication, subject to copyright permission being given. They will not be judged in the competition.

Judging Criteria

Full submissions will be marked against the following criteria:

  • Originality
  • Appropriateness of the approach or design as described in the submission
  • Soundness of conclusions and interpretation
  • Relevance of discussion
  • Appropriateness of title and abstract
  • Appropriateness of figures and tables

Technical reviewers score all the papers resulting in a shortlist of 12 papers across the following three categories:

  • Design Engineering and Architecture
  • Digital Engineering
  • Environment and Heritage

An independent panel judges the shortlist to identify the winners for each category and the overall winner of the competition.

Style Guide

Please prepare your paper using the submission template provided here.

Technical papers should be a maximum length 5000 words.

Please be consistent in style throughout, especially if different authors have contributed sections. Please make your text as short and concise as possible, excluding anything that is not directly relevant to the subject. The text should be in UK English, in the third person and should be readily understandable by a technically competent person. Please avoid unnecessary use of the masculine gender where it is not required. Spelling should follow the first spelling in the latest edition of the Concise Oxford Dictionary, however  ‘s’ spellings rather than ‘z’ spellings are preferred. Please avoid colloquialisms. Values and units should be separated by a space e.g. 20 kN, not 20kN. Use bullet points rather than numbers or letters for lists. 

Please do not refer to the names of individuals, organisations, products or services unless it is essential to understanding your submission. You should not be gratuitously complimentary or in any way derogatory about any person or organisation either directly or implied.  

Your submission should be illustrated with graphs, photographs and/or drawings. To ensure these illustrations are suitable for publication they should each be submitted as individual, high quality files separately from your text. Photographs should be a minimum of 300dpi at a 10cm width, while line drawings should be of 600dpi or greater. Files should be uploaded in the format that they were originally created in.  Please make sure all graphs, photographs or drawings are legible and clear for print in the HS2 Technical Papers book . 

Please ensure your images are as accessible as possible so that they can be picked up by a screen reader. Key tips below:

  • Provide alt text descriptions for all images – these can be added in the word document. Alt text guidance: https://accessibility.psu.edu/images/
  • If text in an image is important to all users, also present it as body text
  • Try not to use colour alone as the only means used to portray information. Try not to use colour alone as the sole way of portraying instructions to the relative diagrams. Consider adding labels within the image indicating the relevant parts of the diagram.

Naming conventions

Please introduce the areas of works, IPT/JV and any relevant subcontractor roles that the paper relates to, at the beginning of the paper. Thereafter refer the paper should be written in the third person or project roles without over reference to organisation names. Suggestions below:

The xxx is part of … or

This paper focuses on… or

This paper is presented as part of the works to deliver… :

  • ….the Main Works Civils Contract (MWCC) for the southern section of High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One which includes the Northolt Tunnels and the Euston Tunnel and Approaches, being delivered by the SCS Integrated Project Team
  • ….the Main Works Civils Contract (MWCC) for the central section of High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One which includes the Colne Valley Viaduct and Chiltern Tunnels, being delivered by the ALIGN Integrated Project Team. 
  • …..the Main Works Civils Contract (MWCC) for the central section of High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One which includes the North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley and Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel, being delivered by the EFKB Integrated Project Team
  • ….. the Main Works Civils Contract (MWCC) for the northern section of High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One including Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur and the Delta Junction to the West Coast Main Line (WCML) tie-in, being delivered by the BBV Integrated Project Team.
  • ….. the Enabling Works Contract (EWC) on the southern section of High Speed Two (HS2) phase one which includes demolition of buildings within the wider Euston area, utility diversions, environmental and ecological monitoring and a programme of historic environment and archaeological activities, delivered by the Costain Skansja joint venture (CSjv).
  • ….. the Enabling Works Contract (EWC) on the northern section of High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One delivered by the Laing O’Rourke Murphy joint venture (LMJV).
  • ….. the Enabling Works Contract (EWC) on the central section of High Speed Two (HS2) Phase One, delivered by Fusion joint venture (Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman)
  • Euston station construction project is part of the High Speed Two (HS2) phase one works, being delivered by the Euston Integrated Project Team (IPT) including Mace Dragados joint venture (MDJV) and Arup.
  • Old Oak Common station construction project is part of the High Speed Two (HS2) phase one works, being delivered by the OOC Integrated Project Team (IPT) including Balfour Beatty Vinci Systra joint venture (BBVS JV) and WSP.
  • Curzon Street station construction project is part of the High Speed Two (HS2) phase one works, being delivered by construction partner – Mace Dragados joint venture (MDJV),  and design partner – WSP

Checklist before submission

  • Is there sufficient background and industry context
  • Is there a sufficient level of detail in the paper for this to be transferable learning for future projects or programmes?
  • Is evidence provided to support the learning outcomes?
  • Is the learning legacy explicitly set out in both the abstract and the Conclusion?
  • Have you followed the style guide?
  • Have you provided hi-res images with alt text?
  • Has each author completed an author consent form: https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/OMNW3V/

Submitting your paper

The Learning Legacy Team will send the lead author a link to upload your paper and associated metadata to the HS2 Sharepoint system.

If do not have a HS2 email, then you will need to login with a PSC email account.  The step by step guide below will help you to login using your PSC email.

  1. Go to Google Chrome Browser and open new window in Incognito mode
  2. Open https://www.office.com
  3. Click Sign In
  4. Enter the Email (generally in the format of [email protected]) and Click Next
  5. This should give you HS2 Sign In page, so enter the password, and click Sign In
  6. If your email and password are correct, you should login successfully
  7. Now without closing this browser tab, please open a new tab on the same browser, and copy & paste the ‘Update Paper’ link below into the new tab on the browser.


Please contact [email protected].