By Tom Degun

john armitt_honorary_award_21-11-11November 22 - Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) chairman John Armitt has received two prestigious awards from Europe's biggest engineers' body for his role in leading his organisation in building the venues, facilities and infrastructure for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

At an awards ceremony held in central London, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) awarded Armitt an Honorary Fellowship and he also became the first person to receive the Sarah Guppy Medal for Achievement in the Built Environment sector.

The 65-year-old from London admitted his pride at receiving the two prizes but quickly paid tribute to all the staff at the ODA.

"These awards are an honour that I am delighted to accept," he said.

"They recognise the tremendous work done by the whole of the ODA team and its supply chain who have worked tirelessly to achieve a result which reflects so well on the UK engineering capability."

Armitt was appointed chairman of the ODA in September 2007 and has been widely praised for his role in leading the £8 billion ($13 billion/€9 billion) construction and delivery programme, with all venues having been delivered on time and on budget.

"IET Honorary Fellowships are awarded to senior, distinguished engineers and John is a very worthy recipient," said IET President Dr Mike Short.

"He has demonstrated leadership of the highest order, controlling and reducing costs, applying best environmental practice and working effectively with Governments at the highest level.

"His leadership of the Olympic Delivery Authority is of paramount importance to the success of the London 2012 Games.

"As a direct result of his hard work and dedication it will be clear to the world the importance of professional engineers and technicians in creating world class Olympic venues and environments."

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Before his appointment as ODA chairman, Armitt had been chief executive of Network Rail from 2001 until 2007 and before that, the chief executive of Costain from 1997 until 2001.

In addition, he was chief executive of Union Railways during the 1990s, where he oversaw the planning and financing of the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link.

The ODA have now finished the bulk of their construction work, as the Aquatics Centre became the last of the six main permanent Olympic Park venues to be completed by the organisation and handed over to London 2012 Organising Committee in July this year.

The ODA have therefore begun scaling back their staff, with a number of employees having to move across to the London 2012 Organising Committee to help with Games-time operations.

However, Armitt and some other senior figures on the project are set to remain in place until the conclusion of the Games.

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