UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


DesignBuilder Award honours Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc students

27 June 2023

UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering students Yikang Tong and Wenhao Zhang win the DesignBuilder award for modelling

SmartBuilder award ceremony image

The Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc delivered by the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering is an innovative programme that explores how digital engineering can create smarter buildings that are better for their occupants and the environment.The selection of the two students for the DesignBuilder Award acknowledges their exceptional performance and promise as modellers.

The award comprises a certificate, a £250 award and an internship opportunity at DesignBuilder Software Limited. The award was judged by a jointly academic and industrial panel from the UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering and DesignBuilder Software and the assessment of the submitted application was based on the current performance on the course and promise and interest related to, modelling, simulation, building services, controls, programming and coding.

Two applicants stood out when assessing past and current performance and the potential to contribute to the industry in the future. In addition to the main award, therefore, a special mention award was also presented, and a high commendation was given to Yikang Tong. The judges noted that Yikang submitted a very strong application and was supported by an even stronger letter of recommendation from his supervisor. Yikang's ongoing work on the dissertation was a key highlight, where he modelled a complex heritage building and showed proactiveness in engaging with building stakeholders to collect data and information for his modelling. This along with his consistent and strong performance across the coursework modules is one of the main contributing factors to this special mention of Yikang.

The DesignBuilder award was presented to Wenhao Zhang, who was voted unanimously by the judging panel as having submitted the most outstanding application. Wenhao's previous modelling work and extensive exploration of diverse modelling tools and techniques distinguished him from other candidates. The judges noted Wenhao's extremely organised approach to his coursework, the quality of his documentation of the modelling process and overall exceptional performance on the course.

This award by DesignBuilder Software is a significant acknowledgement of the teaching undertaken in the Smart Buildings and Digital Engineering MSc programme. The work and skills of both Yikang Tong and Wenhao Zhang reflect the impact of this master’s program in creating graduates with exceptional industry-relevant skills. Many congratulations to both winners. 



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