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Graduate Awards: A Prize for life

Compete alongside the best of your peers, says David Hayward, for the chance of winning gold, silver or bronze in NCE’s Graduate Awards.

From NCE Graduate of the Year to leading a multi-disciplinary team ­ designing a £100M sports centre just 18 months later.

From graduate superstar to chairing a major ICE advisory committee within a year. And from the nation’s top graduate civil engineer to achieving chartered status in record time plus finding shelf space for two dozen academic and work achievement awards.

Coincidence - possibly - but NCE has yet to know of any of our dozen annual graduate award winners so far who does not claim to have had their career progress markedly enhanced after achieving top gun status.

“It raised my profile within the company….it got me noticed … I presented to the main board within three weeks.”

These are typical comments from our winners over the years.

Rise above the crowd

And now it could be your turn to rise above the crowd and ensure the big boss says more than hello in the corridor.

If you - or someone you work with - graduated any time last year with a civil engineering or similar degree, pay attention now. Visit, look at the free online entry form and realise just how easy it is to get your achievements, skills and, most of all, your enthusiasm in front of a 17-strong panel of top company bosses.

These senior directors from our impressive group of sponsoring companies are the judges who will root out the top six candidates and invite them for a half hour “chat” at the ICE in November.

They will be impressed with academic and engineering successes. They will score highly evidence of initiative and management potential. But most of all they will be looking for those of you bubbling over with passion and pride at becoming civil engineers and who are enthusiastic to tell friends about their day job.

You do not need your employer’s approval to enter; though we would hope you get your line manager’s support.

Our website gives you all the guidance and help you should need and the entry form offers ample opportunity for you to convince us of your all round qualities.

Blue sky thinking

It also allows you the fun of some blue-sky thinking through a short essay question. This year is NCE’s 40th birthday so we ask you to project your imagination forward to 2052 and suggest what type of structures, projects and materials civil engineers could be engaged with.

If you’re in the judges’ top six, you are already a winner. All these finalists will be invited to NCE’s upmarket awards lunch in December, also at the ICE, where they will be rewarded with record cash prizes, certificates and, most of all praise, from the room full of industry leaders.

Three highly commended finalists will each receive £350. Two runners up will take home £700 and the overall graduate super star will be offered a bucket load of opportunities.

Alongside a cheque for £1,500 and a posh trophy, our supreme winner gets loads of publicity, the chance to interview the construction minister and also write an opinion piece for NCE.

But perhaps the most valuable opportunity is recognition from your company as a graduate civil engineer to take note of.

  • Closing date for entries is Tuesday 18 September.

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