SOUTH WEST graduates and students are challenging all comers to a national teamworking challenge after the unprecedented success of the inaugural ICE South West Team Challenge.
The South West heat saw eight teams of 10 young engineers battle against each other in four tough tests of communication skills, teambuilding, confidence and leadership.
Designed for competitors to practice command and control as well as delegation, the challenges had teams building a river crossing from rope and logs, racing against each other in home-made rafts, tackling an army-style assault course and herding each other around a field like sheep.
'The degree of teamworking was absolutely marvellous.
Everybody should be forced to go on one of these challenges, ' urged ICE South West vice chairman Teresa Frost.
'At first I wasn't keen to go - it was a long way and a Saturday - but it was a cracking, well organised event. Everyone was lagged from head to foot in mud but they were all still smiling. Enthusiasm abounded, ' Frost said. 'Next year will be even bigger and better, and I will be thoroughly behind it. I am a convert.'
This success is not lost on the graduates and students committee, which is keen to see the event the grow nationally.
'These tasks were tough, so teams really had to work hard together to pull them off, ' said Sigrid Stessels, event organiser with the South West graduates and students committee.
'It was a huge a success and what we're now hoping is that other regions take on the idea and run it in their area, ' said Stessels. 'Then maybe we can build up to a national competition.'
The teams were entered by companies, but four places in each 10-man team were reserved for students from local universities, encouraging the ICE to get involved.
'The ICE is firmly behind initiatives of this sort, ' said ICE professional development manager Niall O'Hea. 'While encouraging greater links between universities and industry, the event offered a tremendous range of CPD opportunities.'
The ICE provided £500 in prize money for the best performing universities.
Competing firms were: Buro Happold, Scott Wilson Rail, Babtie Group, Hyder Consulting, MWH Wessex, Devon County Council, Torbay County Council, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Halcrow Group, Whitby Bird & Partners, and Dean & Dyball Construction.