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Students' plan for affordable housing wins first ICE CityZen Award

08 February 2022

The competition, designed to inspire young people to follow a civil engineering career path, was launched last year.

Students' plan for affordable housing wins first ICE CityZen Award
Students from around the UK made creative videos in the competition exploring how civil engineers could improve their local area.

The winners of the ICE CityZen Award have been announced at a virtual ceremony presented by ICE President Ed McCann and The Gadget Show’s Ortis Deley.

The inaugural award saw 16-18-year-olds play CityZen, a civil engineering digital game, and submit a video project with a proposal for improvements civil engineers could make in their local area.

The competition took place in the first half of the autumn term with more than 500 students in 90 teams taking part.

ICE CityZen Award - winning teams

St John's, Marlborough, for a plan to develop eco-friendly and affordable housing for first-time buyers.

VIDEO: The winning film by Jack, Ollie, Rex and Timon of St John's Marlborough.

St Elthelburga's Collegiate, for an activity centre supporting a hospice in York.

VIDEO: The Silver Award-winning film by Sophie, Ella and Tamara of Queen Ethelburga's Collegiate.

Lagan College, for a solution to the traffic problem around the college in Belfast.

VIDEO: The Bronze Award-winning film by Callum, Calum and Jess of Lagan College.

Future civil engineers show they're up for the challenge

The judges, impressed with the quality of the students' video entries, said: "It's clear that a future generation of civil engineers is more than up for the challenge of tackling today's big issues."

To learn more, watch the ICE film celebrating the students' learnings on why civil engineering matters to tomorrow's engineering professionals.

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VIDEO: ICE CityZen Award - Why should you care about civil engineering?

About the ICE CityZen Award

The ICE CityZen Award aims to encourage more young people to apply for civil engineering at university or apprenticeship level.

It was originally named after ICE Fellow David Butler, who actively supported the institution’s educational programmes over many years, with a particular interest in supporting opportunities for young engineers and his legacy funded the creation of this award.

The CityZen game was created to provide a virtual alternative to a work experience placement where players work together in teams to mirror the way professional civil engineers collaborate and problem-solve.

A link with industry and deeper insight was given to each team by a civil engineer mentor – trained as part of the ICE STEM Ambassador programme – who worked with the students remotely to support and advise them. The ICE extends gratitude to the mentors, who helped make the experience possible.

As well as the wealth of engineering research and design information teams had to unpick to complete the CityZen tasks, an important real-life aspect to the game was balancing the needs and desires of a wide variety of people and organisations.

Feedback from students following the ICE CityZen Award showed that this mix of virtual engagement and contact with civil engineer role models is an effective mix, with 58% of the participants relaying that they were now more interested in a civil engineering career.

The award is open to students aged 16-18 attending a UK school. Those interested in taking part in the 2022 ICE CityZen Award as a participant or as a team mentor (must be an ICE STEM Ambassador) should email Careers.

  • Kathryn Denham-Maccioni, digital engagement manager at ICE