The Institution of Civil Engineers has announced the winners of the inaugural David Butler Award.
The Gold Award was won by the team of Oliver Markham, Timon Piercy, Jack Ross and Rex Vickerman from St Johns, Marlborough, for its plan to develop eco-friendly and affordable housing for first-time buyers. The Silver Award was won by St Elthelburga’s Collegiate, for an activity centre supporting a hospice in York, and the Bronze Award was won by Lagan College, for a solution to the traffic problem around the college in Belfast.
The award, which aims to encourage more young people to apply to study civil engineering at university or apprenticeship level,involved teams of 16-18-year-olds playing CityZen, a civil engineering digital game, and then submitting a video project that outlined a proposal for improvements that civil engineers could make in their local area. More than 500 students in 90 teams took part.
CityZen game was created to provide a virtual alternative to a work experience placement. Players work together in teams to mirror the way in which professional civil engineers collaborate and problem-solve. Each team was provided with a civil engineer mentor – trained as part of the ICE STEM Ambassador programme – who worked with the students remotely to support and advise them, providing link with industry and deeper insights into what it’s like to be a civil engineer.
The judges, who were impressed with the quality of the students’ video entries, said: ‘It’s clear that a future generation of civil engineers is more than up for the challenge of tackling today’s big issues.’
‘It’s such a huge honour to have been awarded first prize,’ Ross told the Wiltshire Gazette & Herald. ‘We are all passionate about engineering and the opportunity to work with our ICE mentor allowed us to bring our own ideas and plans to life. This was a real privilege.
‘We learned a lot about the design and planning processes within civil engineering and worked with key members of our local community, which inspired us to create a project that would work towards meeting existing needs,’ hr continued. ‘I feel that this process has cemented the fact that a career in engineering is definitely where my future lies.’
The David Butler Award is open to students aged 16-18 attending a UK school. Those interested in taking part in the 2022 competition as a participant or as a team mentor (must be an ICE STEM Ambassador) should email [email protected]