A RECORD number of entries gave judges of the Midlands Graduates & Students Papers Competition a hard night's work at the final presentations in Birmingham earlier this month.
Arup's Jeffrey Yee eventually came out on top with his paper on the landmark Metsovitikos suspension bridge in northern Greece.
Yee beat off stern competition from Andy Langley, Steve Perkins, Felix Yee and Warren Robert to go through to the national final later this year.
Halcrow's Gavin Stonard will also be competing in the final after winning the south western round, held in Exeter earlier this month.
Stonard's paper, Improving the environment in Timisoara, Romania, through European Union funding, held off challenges from Hamish Hall and Nathan Howells to claim the prize.
Competition judge and ICE director of the regions Julien Parrott was left stunned by the quality of the entries. Speaking after the event in Exeter he said:
'The G&S Prize Papers Competition was a joy to attend.
'Whenever I hear people bemoaning the state of our industry and spreading gloom about the future I will challenge them to attend such an event. The future status of the profession is in safe hands.'