PERSUASIVE POWERS will be put to the test once again in the eleventh communication competition, kicking off in February.
Competing teams will need exceptional communication skills to win over the traditionally tough audience and scoop the £1,000 prize.
The NCE sponsored competition is run by the Association of Municipal Engineers and challenges engineers under 35 to present a fictional scenario to a rowdy public meeting.
The scenario could be on any technical project and places strong emphasis on social and economic aspects of the engineering work. Teams must produce a leaflet explaining their scheme before presenting it to a sceptical 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.
Communication skills are vital to every engineer but there are few opportunities to develop them early in their careers. Past competitors have described the competition as an invaluable training opportunity.
The competition is open to those aged 35 or under on 30 June 2002. Teams are made up of three to five people and members can be drawn from professions other than civil engineering. However, at least 50% of the team must be in some grade of membership of the ICE.
There are three rounds, starting with a divisional round in February and followed by a regional round in April. Finals will be held on the opening night of the Association of Municipal Engineers conference in June 2002.