Department of Engineering / News / Engineer of Cross-Channel Love gets £1,500 prize

Department of Engineering

Engineer of Cross-Channel Love gets £1,500 prize

Engineer of Cross-Channel Love gets £1,500 prize

Christopher Matthews (left)

Inspire Scholar and civil engineering student Christopher Matthews collected a national prize, worth £1,500 from ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry.

Inspire Scholar and civil engineering student Christopher Matthews collected a national prize, worth £1,500 from ConstructionSkills, the Sector Skills Council for the construction industry.

The Cambridge undergraduate beat off stiff competition to be crowned winner of this year's Inspire competition, which gives some of the brightest new talent in the industry the opportunity to explore how they would convince young people to embark on a career in construction.

The competition required entrants to sell the construction industry as a positive career choice demonstrating enthusiasm for construction and the built environment, in a fun and interactive way. Entrants had to imagine they were taking part in a television show for a careers programme, and have 3 minutes to sell their favoured profession and the industry as a career choice, to any potential viewers.

Christopher's entry presented as a storyboard for the short TV film, shows how his profession helped bring two star-crossed lovers together by building High Speed One, (the Channel Tunnel Rail Link), enabling the pair to continue their cross-Channel romance.

He was presented with his prize by ConstructionSkills Chief Executive Mark Farrar at a ceremony in central London. Mark Farrar, Chief Executive of ConstructionSkills, commented: "Christopher is a fine example of the sort of talent we have on our Inspire Scholarship Scheme. By putting companies in touch with the cream of the undergraduate crop, we take the hassle out of recruitment and ensure these graduates can begin making a difference as soon as they leave university. Our Inspire scholars show just the sort of passion and energy we need in our industry, particularly as we emerge from recession and face new and unique challenges, such as the low carbon agenda."

Christopher, who honed his passion for the industry whilst on placement in the bridge management and engineering teams at Jacobs UK said: "At Jacobs, I got involved in everything from old bridge repair inspection to designing new bridges from scratch. As an undergraduate, knowing that designs I've had an input into are going to be built is pretty phenomenal. It's certainly not something the average university engineering student can say." Asked about his competition entry, he added: "All too often people only think of the 'boring' side of construction and engineering, so I wanted to use my submission to show just how the construction industry can enhance the world we live in. Placing High Speed One at the heart of my story seemed like an obvious way of showing how the skills of our industry can make the seemingly impossible possible."

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