QE wins prestigious engineering competition

QE wins prestigious engineering competition

A QE team’s design for a new London railway station with a strong renewable energy focus has won them first prize in a competition run by the Institution of Civil Engineers.

The four Year 8 boys included no fewer than four different ways of reducing carbon emissions in their design for the new station connecting the Isle of Dogs to the O2 Arena in Greenwich.

Headmaster Neil Enright said: “I congratulate these boys on a well-deserved success: they combined creativity with sound engineering instincts in their entry and came up with a design that clearly impressed the judges.”

Despite being among the younger competitors, team captain Snehal Das, along with Nafis Meah, Nayan Santheepan and Quaim Abdi, beat 26 other entries from schools across the capital to take the top prize in the I Can Engineer Awards, which were open to Years 8–10. Two other shortlisted QE teams also achieved success, with one picking up a further award and a third receiving a special commendation.

Taking advantage of the new station’s location next to the River Thames, the winning QE team included in their design an underwater turbine to harvest hydro-electric power. It also featured the use of kinetic power from customer footsteps, magnetic elevators, and bioluminescent bulbs. They called their design West Ferry Station.

Jonathan Baggs, Director of ICE London, said that West Ferry was “very creative in its approach to energy generation and how it is used to operate the station”.

The winners’ prize is a behind-the-scenes tour of a civil engineering project, courtesy of civil engineering sector companies, SCS Railways and TYPSA, who supported the award category. Other companies supporting the awards, which were organised by the ICE London Graduates and Students Committee, were Mott MacDonald and Ramboll.

After the event, Snehal said: “Being the team captain gave me many new skills which could help me in my future life.”

Ten teams were shortlisted for the awards, including the three from QE. One Year 9 team, Colin Copcea, Ishaan Ganatra, Krishna Patel, and Rian Dharel, received the Community Award for their design, entitled Cubitt Waterside. It drew inspiration from the recently completed tube station, Nine Elms and Battersea Power Station. The special commendation went to a third team, drawn from Years 8 & 9 –Marvin To, Wilson Xu, and Zoheb Haq – who narrowly missed out on an award with their entry, Dockland Quay station.

Kirsten Evans, a Technology technician and the organiser of the I Can Engineering Club at the School, congratulated all the boys who participated. “The club has allowed all 20 students involved to develop a better understanding of civil engineering’s role in society.”

Miss Evans also thanked alumni who had supported the club by passing on their knowledge of civil engineering, including Karan Dewnani (OE 2006–2013).

The prizes were awarded in a ceremony at the ICE headquarters in Westminster – the first event for school pupils to be held there since the start of the pandemic.

In addition to the award presentations, there were team activities such as tower and bridge-building using spaghetti and marshmallows. The teams listened to a talk about HS2 from Fiona Hughes, a geotechnical engineer with Arup, and to an engineering ‘pitch’ from Julio Lacorzana, a Senior Engineer and Deputy Package Manager with TYPSA, who first spoke about his career journey.