Department of Materials


1 Mar 2021

Bioengineering Student Wins EWB Gold Design Award!

Julia Whitehead 300 x 300

Bioengineering student, Julia Whitehead has excelled herself in her first year by winning the Engineers Without Borders UK Gold Design Award for the 2021 Designathon, which is a month-long challenge involving teams of students from across the UK.

The challenge centred around this question: “How to make the engineering sector more globally responsible?”

Julia teamed up with two other students from Cardiff University, (Mairead Reid) and Glasgow University, (Matthew Wright-Anderson), undertaking workshops and researching this problem, settling on focusing action on younger student learning environments by “Stimulating responsible engineering through play.”

The judges thought this was an incredibly well thought through project. They thought it was a fun and novel idea, and that the group thought through the background and real-world implications very effectively.

For the full design report and the 3.5 minute presentation made by Julia, Mairead and Matthew, follow This Link

Julia stated the following in response to receiving the award:

“I was thrilled when my team made the grand final and then won the 1st prize on Saturday. In a nutshell, our idea is a guided play model offered to schools and NGOs in LEDCs (Less Economically Developed Countries) that stimulates children's imagination around concepts of responsible engineering, such that they become second nature. Key insights gained from the workshop on participatory and inclusive engineering approaches heavily influenced our implementation plan, with the resource being co-designed by the children themselves, educators and experts.

This challenge forced me to think critically about the state of the engineering sector and brought a new dimension to the way I think to myself as an engineer. I would thoroughly recommend all engineering students get involved in future Engineers Without Borders initiatives!”

The Department of Materials and the School of AACME (Aeronautical, Automotive, Chemical and Materials Engineering) extend their congratulations to Julia and the rest of the winning team.  If this is what Julia can achieve in her first year, we are sure that we will be hearing a lot more from her over the course of her degree!