CONCERN OVER falling numbers of students entering civil engineering degree courses has prompted ICE acting chief executive Amar Bhogal to act as one of the judges of this year's NCE Graduate Awards.
Launched last month, the annual awards scheme is designed to recognise and reward the best all round young civil engineers who graduated last year.
'They are the future of both our profession and the ICE, ' said Bhogal. 'We need to encourage them and harness the impressive enthusiasm most already show for their chosen career.'
Candidates for the awards must have graduated during 2001 with a civil engineering or other ICE accredited degree. Entries will be judged by senior engineers from the scheme's sponsoring companies - including the ICE - with credit given for initiative and enthusiasm shown during the candidate's first postgraduate job.
The half dozen finalists will be invited to Great George Street in May to meet the judges and each will be given half an hour to convince the panel of their worthiness to win the top £1,000 prize. Two runners up will each receive £500.
Bhogal directs his concern over the decline in students opting to study civil engineering degree courses more at schools than universities. 'School children do not get sufficient advice or encouragement on how satisfying an engineering course can be, ' said Bhogal. 'Civil engineers are the keepers of our environment and help make all our lives easier and more enjoyable.'