City Westminster College’s Business Development and the Construction and Technology Department recently held a high-profile event for 35 BTEC Construction and the Built Environment students to network with industry leaders and to show off their construction and engineering prowess in a design competition.
The event drew a number of distinguished guests from the world of engineering and construction who also helped judge the student’s competition entries.
Representatives attended from high-profile construction companies and included Robert McAlpine, Mace Construction, Tideway West and Bouygues. These companies are responsible for many of the buildings seen above and below London’s skyline as well as many seen both nationally and internationally.
Tony Johnson and Lee Horsley, both United Colleges Group Governors also attended to speak with students and admire the high-quality work on display.
The day started with a networking breakfast allowing students to meet company representatives who may one day be their employers. The overall aim of the event was to improve students’ chances of progressing from their courses into opportunities such as work-experience placements, apprenticeships or full-time work.
This was followed by a professional wellbeing coaching session and then it was onto the competition.
Students were tasked with producing technical engineering posters displaying their knowledge and skills in response to a brief to illustrate their own ideas on engineering and construction principles in action such as housing and living solutions, roads, bridges, tunnels and the built environment.
All of the entries on display were noted by the judges to be of a very high standard and judges and students discussed not only their competition entries but potential career paths that they might take.
After lunch things literally took an entertaining twist as the winner of the Pena Flamenco London 2019 Awards, Anna Maria Lopez, took to the floor and wowed all those present with a superb display of how she had earned her title.
When the lights went back on it was time for the announcement of the winners.
Taking First place and £100 prize money was Karla Solino with her design project which showed the Renovation of Edgware Road Station, focusing on the construction of a new underground platform and the installation of shield doors for safety. Karla’s hard work also earned her the potential opportunity of a work experience placement on a real-life major London project in the not-to-distant future. A jubilant Karla commented,
“It was a great day, the best exposure to the Industry any student could ask for. As for myself, the win meant that all of my hard work had paid off and I could share it with my peers, teachers and future employers.”
Second place was awarded to Luiza Rodrigues for her project ‘Institute Izaias Luzia’, reflecting an organisation created by her family to help their community, in São Paulo, Brazil. Her design proposed renovating an existing building in London with modern architecture and sustainable and reusable materials and was actually inspired by the City of Westminster College building. This would provide free classes including English, mathematics and dance as well as helping with the financial damage caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A well-earned third place went to Sean Wilkinson who designed and simulated the construction of a landscape garden with a variety of shelters, beautiful agriculture, installation of hard landscaping and water features and even a fully serviced outdoor bar.
Lee Horsley, who has a wealth of engineering and building industry experience commented, “I was impressed by the range of projects the students had undertook and the topical subjects they were tackling including sustainability, durability of products, and local community need. All students were engaging and enthusiastic about their work and demonstrated an understanding of their projects and the impact on the built environment.”
Mace Construction, who attended the event have also offered to interview eight students for a variety of construction and engineering opportunities in the near future.
These City of Westminster College students are not only working hard for their own careers, but it appears that one day soon, London's and perhaps the world's built environment will be enhanced by members of this young group's outstanding efforts towards building better futures.