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Northern Ireland civil engineer wows judges in just 200 seconds 

13 March 2019

Pitch 200 – ICE’s engineering stand-up competition with a difference - came to Belfast recently.

Northern Ireland civil engineer wows judges in just 200 seconds 

Conor Crawford, Technical Director at Jacobs, has won the Northern Ireland regional heat of ICE's Pitch 200 contest.

He came out on top for his insightful presentation on leakage and the supply demand balance.

Water can be wasted in several ways, leakage being one of them, which ultimately leads to the reduction in the supply to our homes and businesses.

Conveying the intricacies of balancing the demand for water over the supply available and how wastage plays a part in this, Crawford used illustrations and props to explain the processes that happen to ensure people get the water they need, when they need it.

Using props to explain complex engineering concepts

In total, six civil engineers went head to head to give the best demonstration of what they do in just 200 seconds (or less), bringing to life their chosen engineering concept using props, presentations and ingenuity to showcase their work in the most curious and unconventional way.

The pitches ranged from engineering models, canal lock systems, reservoir spillways, which were likened to water slides, to the strength of water and the challenges working near it poses.

Every prop imaginable was used, including a 1m cube to visually show a ton of water to one pitcher doing her whole presentation wearing an inflatable life vest.

The calibre of entries made the decision a difficult one for judges - UTV’s Joe Mahon, Kaine Lynch and last year’s Pitch 200 winner Stephanie Martin.

The positive impact of civil engineering

ICE Regional Director Richard Kirk said: “The work civil engineers do is not widely understood by the public, even though it has a major positive impact on people’s daily life – from keeping the lights on to getting people to work on time.

"Following on from the success of last year’s Pitch 200, we challenged our members to go one better and see how creative they could be when sharing their passion for civil engineering and to explain clearly how it makes a difference for people around the world. They didn’t disappoint.

“Hopefully, not only did it help people learn something new in a fun and engaging way but also inspired the next generation of budding engineers.”

The NI Regional Final of Pitch 200, sponsored by Hays, was part of the Northern Ireland Science Festival with the competition taking place at the Black Box on 20 February.

Crawfod was presented with a bottle of champagne from the sponsors and will go on to compete against the other regional winners in the Pitch 200 Grand Final in autumn 2019.

  • Christelle Gregg, Communications Executive