Clear graphic explanation of a radical cantilevered staircase design allowed Price & Myers 3D engineer Helen Rogers to convince her client to retain the feature and won her first prize in this year's Oasys Awards' 'engineer's story'.
The finely detailed panel combined finished representations of the staircase with construction drawings and images to represent and explain stress distributions in the structure.
The judges felt that Rogers had married her design skills with the computer package to produce graphics that were both useful and appropriate communication tools.
A similar appropriate use of the available technology won Christian Kuhner of the University of Stuttgart first place in the engineer's story student category. His explanation of the design and construction of a retractable fabric stadium roof was, the judges felt, both simple and stunning, yet highly practical.
A joint second prize was awarded in the student category to John Edward Charton and to Emma Victoria Jenkinson, both of the University of Bristol.
However, despite attracting very high quality entries in the engineering categories, judges were concerned with the falling number of entries this year.
They urged universities and employers to work harder next year to encourage entries and in particular to help graduates to use the simple yet sophisticated software now available to develop their communication skills.
In contrast, the Oasys Awards architecture categories attracted a healthy crop of entries this year. A mixture of two dimensional representations, video presentations, websites and powerpoint images gave judges a tough job to pick the winners.
However the outstanding entries shone through regardless of media type and in all cases demonstrated the most appropriate use of the chosen technology.
The best architectural entry was from Jason Ahmed of Westminster University and Nick Foster of Barlett College, London, for their extraordinarily detailed, almost anatomical designs for a plastic surgery resort.
Similar creative thought won the graduate prize for the architect's story as Westminster University's Nelson Hannah explained his plans for redeveloping Canvey Island in Essex with a cod farm installation.
Using inspiration from cheap vodka and glass panel construction, Hannah's powerpoint presentation kept the judges' interest throughout.
Second prize in this category went to Andrew Dearman for his three dimensional Stephenson's Rocket-inspired playground design and third place to Uta Wolf for her representation of an exploration of the dark corners of her cellar.
The student architect's story was won by Andrew Cardwell of the University of Strathclyde with second prize awarded to Nottingham University's Fred Renton.
In the picture category students and graduates were asked to submit one stunning image.
Christina Jackson delivered in the graduate category with his exploration of light and shadow.
Leszek Marszalek of the University of Lincolnshire & Humberside won the student category with an atmospheric rendering of a new gallery development in the old Humber docks.
The Oasys Awards are organised by Arup and all winners received prizes of cash and computer software presented by the event sponsors Autodesk, Excitech, NCE, architects' journal and Anders Elite.
The Oasys Premiere prize 2001 went to JIGG - Janet Cameron, Iain Gardner, R Geoffrey Evans and Gordon Henderson of the University of Strathclyde.
Their innovative website presentation follows the progress of a project - in this case an urban development - from concept to construction to opening. The site is built up to record all ideas, drawings, correspondence, images, sketches, costs etc in a single, easy to access vault.
Judges liked the project's clear, useful forward thinking and easy to access content, highlighting it as a possible model for the future.
INFOPLUS For full details of the awards and details of entering next year's competition visit www. nceplus. co. uk