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North West chooses winner of Pitch 200 competition

03 March 2020

Maria Eftimova’s presentation, about the role of civil engineers in providing access to clean water, has won her the ICE North West Pitch 200 competition.

North West chooses winner of Pitch 200 competition

Water is essential for life but from floods to droughts its management is a continuing civil engineering challenge.

Indeed, only one percent of the earth’s water is easily accessible freshwater that’s fit for drinking, presenting a very real problem for millions of people.

With concise information about the waste-water treatment process, Maria Eftimova’s pitch involved a hands-on water filtration experiment, complete with a willing audience member to taste the end result.

The presentation formed one of six in total, all showcasing civil engineering concepts in a tight 200 second timeframe.

Topics encompassing cyclist safety through to sustainable drainage systems, gave the audience an insight into the ability civil engineers have to shape and improve our lives.

Even the most technical subjects, including light steel frames and the load path, were explained with ease.

An explanation into the need to strive for quality in the profession concluded the entries, leaving the judges with a tricky decision.

Alison Waterworth, former Pitch 200 finalist and chair of the judging panel, commended all the contestants on their efforts: “The range of topics covered was so diverse and certainly gave us a different take on what civil engineers can achieve.

“With the help of the audience votes, we agreed that Maria’s pitch, demonstrating how civil engineers can change lives and protect the environment by providing access to clean water, was the worthy winner.”

Maria Eftimova, Civil Structural Engineer at Costain Group, said: “The only thing better than working as a civil engineer is going out and telling people about what civil engineers do.

“Winning the regional competition means I have even more opportunity to spread the news and help more people understand the impact that civil engineers make.”

Maria will become the ICE North West Regional Ambassador and will go on to represent the region in the national Pitch 200 final later this year.

Congratulations to all the contestants who participated:

  • Patrick Hylands, Atkins; The Load Path
  • Sophie Tucker, United Utilities; Sustainable Drainage
  • Charles Taylor, TfGM; Introduction to CYCLOPS
  • Nada Elkady, Salford University; Light Steel Frame and Future Construction
  • Maria Eftimova, Costain; Civil Engineering Role in Water Conservation
  • Professor Perry Shard, Balfour Beatty; Understanding Quality – Why it is more significant to success than most people realise
  • Lynn Caddy, communications lead at Institution of Civil Engineers