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Communications teams face final hurdle

ICE news

THE LINE-UP for the final of the NCE Communications Competition is now confirmed, with teams from Warrington, Newcastle and East Sussex set to go head to head in Canterbury for the £1,000 top prize.

The NCE-sponsored competition is run by the Association of Municipal Engineers and challenges engineering's rising stars to present a fictional scenario to a rowdy public meeting.

The final of the competition is the traditional curtain-raiser for the AME annual conference, this year being held in Canterbury from 18-21 June.

All are welcome to attend the fictitious public meeting, where vociferous participation is actively encouraged. This year, teams from Arup in Newcastle, MWH in Warrington, and East Sussex County Council will be attempting to win over the fiery audience.

The confrontational nature of the competition reflects the fact that, in public service engineering, ability to communicate with the public effectively can be more important than technical excellence, explained competition organiser Elinor Goodchild.

'Communication skills are vital to every engineer but there are few opportunities to develop them early in their careers, ' she said. 'Past competitors have described the competition as an invaluable training opportunity.'

This year 25 teams entered nationally, from Cornwall to Aberdeen and from Belfast to Kent. Nine divisional rounds took place in February, with the winners going through to three regional rounds last month.

The teams chose from four scenarios: construction of a new wind farm; road closures and diversions due to motorway maintenance; proposals for a viable regional road and rail network; or the creation of a fully integrated residential, leisure and commercial centre on the outskirts of a town.

A new scenario will be prepared for the final, to take place at 7pm on 18 June at Canterbury University.

INFOPLUS For further information on the competition or the AME conference, e-mail Elinor.Goodchild@ice. org. uk

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