ICE President congratulates engineers of the future at New College Durham

Budding young engineers have had their skills put to the test at a region-wide competition by one of the UK’s top civil engineers during his visit to the North East.

Schoolchildren gathered at New College Durham for the final of the ICE Inspire Competition, which was judged by Professor Tim Broyd, President of the ICE.

Staindrop School was the overall winner of the competition and received £500, with each team member awarded a £50 shopping voucher.

Six teams from schools across the region made it to the final of the competition, which involved the construction of shelters that Prof. Broyd water-tested on the day. All entries were assessed by a panel of professional engineers.

Pupils from across the region in Years 7 and 8, as well as those in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) clubs, were invited to take part in the competition, culminating in the final during Prof. Broyd's 'President's Visit' to the region.

The Inspire Competition provides youngsters with the opportunity to solve real-life civil engineering problems and was created to help attract people into the civil engineering profession, which requires 87,000 new personnel each year to fill 2.6 million jobs in the industry across the UK.

Professor Tim Broyd said: "I would like to congratulate all entrants in this highly competitive Inspire Competition. They have displayed excellent teamwork and great civil engineering aptitude throughout. Initiatives like the Inspire Competition are helping to promote our industry and showcase the profession to youngsters, who will help shape the future of our industry in the years to come.

"I was delighted to judge the final and would like to congratulate Staindrop School on their winning entry, which was a difficult decision but overall they were deserved winners."

Penny Marshall, ICE Regional Director for the North East, added: "It is important to inspire young people to take an interest in civil engineering as they are the future, who will help tackle the challenges we will undoubtedly face in the years to come. The UK simply does not have enough engineers, so to meet this demand we have to double the number of apprentices and people entering the profession."

The ICE North East Inspire Competition was sponsored by Farrans, Aone+, Galliford Try, in partnership with South Tyneside Council, as well as Bam Nuttall, Sir Robert McAlpine and Capita.