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Cardiff University engineer wins essay prize

2 June 2016

Gas Turbine Research Centre

Jon Runyon, a PhD candidate in Cardiff University School of Engineering’s Gas Turbine Research Centre (GTRC), has won a prize for an essay on how to inspire the next generation of engineers.

The prize is the Engineering Professors’ Council’s 20th Anniversary Award, presented in collaboration with the Incorporation of Hammermen of Glasgow. This year, the brief was to write a 2,000 word essay on the topic: “Back to the future…if I knew then what I know now. Six things I’d tell my primary school self about what it means to be an engineer…”

Jon took a very creative approach to interpreting the brief, taking inspiration from the film ‘Back to the Future’. Each of his six pieces of advice to his younger self were based on quotes from the film.

Commenting on writing the essay, Jon said: ‘Part of the reason that I was drawn to the competition and enjoyed writing the essay was because it allowed me to write a bit more creatively, in contrast to the very technical writing I’m used to.  I’ve always been a fan of the Back to the Future film series, so that was easy to draw inspiration from as a topic. ‘

On the importance of inspiring future engineers, he added: ‘My time studying at the GTRC has reinforced the points which I make in the essay. It was through the School of Engineering’s Ingenious Project that I was able to complete my training as a STEM Ambassador, which has helped me to engage with young people, and perhaps this essay will inspire them to take up engineering as well.’

As part of the award, Jon won £500 and the chance to present his work at the Engineering Professors’ Council Congress in September 2016. You can read his award-winning essay here.

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