Diggers with cameras on their arms that can be remotely operated by drivers sitting in simulators many miles away, has the potential to revolutionise the construction sector by moving all personnel off-site. The idea comes from MEng Civil Engineering student Abbie Romano who has been named the overall winner of The Telegraph STEM Awards for her concept from a brief set by award sponsors Atkins, 'how do you create a 'personless' construction site'?.
Abbie’s entry, that could make accidents a thing of the past and eliminate lengthy commutes, highly impressed the judges, who praised the fact that she 'had thought about every aspect of the problem and solution for her BeeLine Construction Solutions ‘A hive of activity’.
The STEM Awards 2015 offer a unique opportunity for talented STEM undergraduates to get their ideas in front of some of the most influential companies in industry. Led by the Telegraph, and now in its second year, the competition prize is £25,000 plus a bespoke mentoring programme and offers students a fascinating new set of challenges.
Speaking to the Telegraph Abbie said:
"I’m completely overwhelmed to have won – I was just so happy to have made it to the final. This will open so many doors, and I’m also hoping that it will help to make health and safety relevant and current. As a young, passionate civil engineer, there’s nothing I love more than being able to inspire younger people to consider a career in construction."
The judges were impressed by Abbie’s insight into the challenges facing her chosen sector, and the ingenuity she showed when addressing them.
Channel 4 Countdown co-presenter Rachel Riley, who sat on the judging panel, said: “Abbie blew us away. She’s worked in industry and had thought about every aspect of the problem and solution. She won everyone over.”
Speaking at the ceremony, Telegraph deputy editor Allister Heath stressed that the challenges set by the Awards’ sponsors couldn’t be more relevant.
"The future of STEM is something that impacts on each and every one of us in more ways that we can possibly imagine,” he said. “From advances in satellite technology to designing more sustainable housing, improving health and safety, preserving the environment and discovering new and effective forms of energy, we rely on the experts who dedicate their careers to furthering knowledge and progression in STEM fields."
Abbie is currently on work placement at Jackson Civil Engineering. She commented on her MEng Civil Engineering helped to prepare her for this competition:
"The course itself is very practical and has a lot of site visits and real life applications.
From September I have been taking a year out and working in industry so I can apply my textbook based knowledge into real life projects. Since being in industry I have been able to understand the problems on site and just how serious even slight blips in health and safety can be."
Read the full story in The Telegraph
You can sign up on the Telegraph STEM hub to be the first to know about the 2016 competition.