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Henry's back: Are you up to it?

The hugely successful Henry Palmer Award returns next month, intending once again to shout the message that civil engineering is great from school rooftops around the country.

As before, the challenge is for teams of young graduates to promote civil engineering to the nation's schoolchildren. How this is done is entirely down to the teams themselves.

During a training day at the ICE teams will be asked to set out a business plan, with industry leaders on hand to offer advice. There is then a year to put the plan into effect before the teams return to the ICE to present their projects to the judges.

It is a real challenge but support is always available from the ICE, and the rewards are claimed to be immense. As member of last year's winning team 'Civil Engineering - Mad For It!'

Nicola McChlery says: 'The skills and confidence you get from coming up with an idea, defining it, financing it, doing it and then seeing if it was successful, are massive'.

She admits that the project, the 'disaster engineering challenge' did take 'a massive commitment', with all of the planning work having to be done in their own time. She also gratefully acknowledges the support of her employer Arup in allowing the team time to take the challenge into the schools, without which the project could not have been completed.

This would have been a great shame, as the successes of the 'Mad For It' team's disaster engineering challenge did not end with scooping the Henry Palmer Award. The project has been taken on by the Construction Industry Training Board, which has been running the challenge around the UK.

And let us not forget the prize - the 'Mad For It' team last year was rewarded with an all expenses paid trip to New York - and there are CPD days to boot.

To find out about this year's award, email henry.palmer@ ice.org.uk or phone Shona Cooper on (020) 7665 2150.

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