Robin de Jongh, a graduate engineer with GCA Consulting, won this year's ICE East Midlands Emerging Engineers Award, in recognition of his paper 'How to lift a building with your bare hands.'
He also was awarded £250 for winning the regional heat and has been shortlisted for the international final, which takes place on September 29 in London, where he will compete with a field of emerging engineers from across the globe. The overall winner will take home a grand prize of £1,500 as well as an Institution Medal.
The ICE Emerging Engineers Award promotes and rewards excellent communication of civil engineering issues and ideas. It is open to all current ICE graduate and student members, who live, work or study in the region.
Comments from the competition's judging panel, which comprised a number of experts from across the region, included: "How to lift a building with your bare hands" provided an unusual yet discerning approach to problem solving, which retained the audience's attention throughout. Its logical thought process successfully communicated civil engineering concepts in a way that would entertain and be understood by an audience with little or no previous engineering knowledge."
Robin said: "One day my little boy told me he no longer wanted to be a Structural Engineer like Daddy, and I wrote down a heartfelt story of how that tragedy might have come about. Since it coincided with the deadline for the ICE Emerging Engineers Competition, I sent it in, thinking it might be nice to have the opportunity to showcase something inspirational. The judges warmed to the story, perhaps seeing something of themselves in it. Our battle to capture the hearts of the next generation is one we must face up to, and I think the way to do it is by first re-capturing that child-like wonder we might have had ourselves, and then merely exuding it to others."
He added: "I now am looking forward to the global final in September at ICE's headquarters in London, and will hopefully be celebrating further on September 29!"
Mollie McKenzie, ICE Regional Director for the East Midlands, added: "The ICE Emerging Engineers Award is a highly competitive annual competition, which showcases the talents of our region's young civil engineers. Robin is a deserving winner of the regional heat and I am sure he will do the East Midlands proud when he competes for the global prize in September. I would like to wish him all the best on September 29."