NCE’s Graduate Awards have thrown up some outstanding winners in their 12 year history. Here we run through the last four in our own winners gallery.
As a member of London Crossrail’s design team, last year’s winner, 24 year old Arup geotechnical engineer Rob Harding, was back working his regular nightshift surveying Tube lines within hours of receiving his £1000 prize. Six years earlier the then 18 year old had designed and built a successful prototype car to run on zero emissions liquid nitrogen.
And later, at Bristol University, he won several achievement awards for single handedly raising around £40,000 for charity. “He already demonstrates leadership, confidence and passion,” said the judges.
No sooner had our 2006 winner, Arup engineer Zeena Farook, received her award than she was donating much of it to the fast growing undergraduate-led charity Engineers Without Borders. Support for her profession continued when she used the prestige of being our graduate superstar to persuade the then Construction Minister to look at increasing engineering representation on government advisory panels.
Little wonder that the judges described her as “already an ambassador for civil engineering”.
Farook’s predecessor, the 2005 winner Nick Chamberlain from Atkins Rail, proved equally outgoing when he spearheaded a group of fellow Newcastle University civil engineering students into raising £21,000 to finance, design and build a much needed community centre in a remote Ugandan village.
His idea is now an annual undergraduate venture at Newcastle and it was not surprising that the judges accused him of “spreading infectious enthusiasm for civil engineering”.
Lucy Penman, winner in 2004, impressed everyone with the engineering maturity shown by a then 23 year old Taylor Woodrow section engineer supervising construction of constantly changing pedestrian routes for 60,000 daily commuters through the maze of London’s Kings Cross underground station redevelopment
“She demonstrates a clear ability to apply engineering judgement and will go far,” was the judges’ comment that helped raise her above her fellow award scheme entrants.