One of the most notable parts of the evening was the lifetime achievement award, presented to John David Smith, latterly of Fugro Geoservices. On receiving his award, and in addition to thanking the BDA, Smith said: "I have enjoyed the challenges, of which there have been many along the way, but I have had the enjoyment of travelling to some great locations throughout the world, which as a ‘farm' boy I would only have been able to dream of."
He added: "Being part of the progress of the drilling industry over the last 48 years has been an experience I have thoroughly enjoyed and wouldn't change a thing. The industry is in a state of continued change, and with the greater emphasis on training and certifications I believe firmly that young people entering the industry can carve themselves a great future and this should be encouraged at all levels."
Other winners included Aspin Group, which took home the Industry Excellence Award for the development of the Aquarius Road2Rail drill rig, and SOCOTEC (formerly ESG), which received the Safety Improvement/Initiative Award for its design of the cable-percussion rig anti whip-check bar. Both William Hill from Raeburn Drilling & Geotechnical and Lee Donachie from Fugro Geoservices were handed the Lead Drilling Supervisor of the Year Award, as the judges couldn't decide between the two very strong entries.