Local Engineer Takes Third Place In Global Competition

A video tour of some of Scotland’s most iconic bridges to help people learn more about their design and construction has led to Lauryn Steel from Annan winning bronze in an international award scheme.

Lauryn Steel, who works as an Economic Development Officer with Dumfries and Galloway Council, came third in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Pitch 200 contest which challenges members to explain an aspect of civil engineering in just 200 seconds.

The aim is to raise public awareness of civil engineering and its positive role in shaping and improving communities. The competition also seeks to highlight the creativity and communication skills of civil engineers and encourage more young people to think about joining the profession.

Lauryn’s entry, ‘Let’s Talk About Bridges’, features famous bridges including Devorgilla Bridge, the Queensferry Crossing and the Kirkpatrick MacMillan Bridge, and explains the key differences and characteristics between the bridge types.

The engineer was shortlisted from entries across the world to compete in an online public vote in July and August.

Lauryn said: “I am so proud to have finished third in such a prestige competition and would like to thank everyone who voted for me.
“I think the unique mix of strength and beauty that a lot of bridges have is very representative of engineering as a whole and even someone who is not involved in engineering can appreciate a great bridge.
“When you think about the function that bridges provide society it’s all about connecting places and ultimately connecting people so it’s a very fitting topic for Pitch 200 which is all about connecting with people to show them how great engineering is.”
ICE Scotland Director, Hannah Smith, said: “When you consider Lauryn was up against engineers from across the world, all of whose films conveyed complex themes in an accessible and entertaining way, this is a marvelous achievement.
“Lauryn has shown that taking an unexpected perspective on a topic can aid everyone’s understanding and encourage fresh thinking.”

First place went to Verena Fernandes, representing South East England, with a video about the impact of dams on salmon migration, while Vivek Jhaveri representing the Middle East came second with a pitch about the use of 3D printed concrete in construction.

People can view Lauryn’s Pitch 200 video and the other entries at www.ice.org.uk/pitch200

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