UCL Engineering


Celebrating Excellence: Winners Announced at the 2023 Engineering Talent Awards!

13 September 2023

The 2023 Engineering Talent Awards, powered by EqualEngineer, celebrate diversity, innovation, and outstanding contributions to the engineering and technology sectors.

Winners of the Engineering Talents Awards 2023 are on stage holiding their trophy.

The event, held in London on 8 September, recognised and honoured remarkable individuals and organisations that have made significant strides in promoting diversity and inclusion.

We are delighted to announce that two UCL Engineering projects were among the winners!


Winners and nominees from UCL Engineering are posing together, holding their trophies and certificates.

Inclusion Program of the Year

The UCL x BADU "Bridging The Gap" programme won Inclusion Program of the Year.

The programme is a collaboration between the UCL Centre for Engineering Education and BADU Community.

Our "Bridging the Gap" mentoring and tutoring programme provides Black and global majority young people aged 14-19 in East London with the support and resources needed to thrive in their professional journeys.

The programme follows a holistic wrap-around approach, offering tutoring on STEM subjects, mentoring, mental health support, a safe space to learn and be vulnerable, healthy meals, books, and digital kits.

The 4-year partnership has gone from strength to strength, with knowledge-sharing interventions between UCL staff, students, and the BADU community members, making UCL’s research and educational resources accessible to East London communities while strengthening the local talent pipeline and supporting local culture.

In 2022, all participating pupils achieved A*/A in STEM subjects; boys aged 15-16 achieved 100% A*-B grades across all their GCSEs, accumulating 13 A*s amongst themselves. All pupils chose UCL as one of their university options, and 89% of alums currently study at top Russell Group universities.

“Winning Inclusion Programme of the Year at the ETA Awards is an important recognition of “Bridging The Gap” and its innovative approach in creating a holistic wrap-around support system for widening access and participation in STEM education. We are thrilled to share this award with our East London family at BADU Community CIC, our incredible tutors and mentors, local communities, mental and physical health experts, teachers, schools, local business, and organisations. We will continue to work together to implement strategies and establish practices that enable Global Ethnic Majority (GEM) young people to be seen, supported, and empowered to learn, achieve, and thrive throughout their personal and professional journeys.” 
Dr Elpida Makrygianni MBE, Head of Education Engagement at UCL Engineering

“Bridging The Gap supports Black & Global Majority young people faced with structural and financial barriers within the educational system. We work with our community & schools to identify those who require extra support or need the basic resources to ensure they can thrive. With the full support of UCL Engineering, as a collective, we have been able to achieve remarkable results and impact with 100% of participating pupils achieving A*/A in Maths and Science subjects.”
Nana Badu, Founder BADU Community CIC 

The award is supported by the ECITB.

UCL x BADU "Bridging The Gap" program team holding their trophy.

Innovation of the Year

The UCL Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub won Innovation of the Year for the development of a new, refreshable tactile technology Tacilia.

The team aimed to allow children who are blind or have partial sight to be better able to engage with Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Maths (STEAM) education.

This project, led by Dr Tigmanshu ‘Tigi’ Bhatnagar, investigated the problems those pupils faced in the classroom and identified the need for a multiline, reconfigurable tactile interface that would help the children read books, explore shapes, design and learn to make senses of (usually) visual information such as graphs and charts.

Tacilia is a project led by Tigmanshu Bhatnagar and has been developed at UCL with collaborations across the Global Disability Innovation Hub, Institute of Making and UCL’s Interaction Centre (UCLIC), with in the wild studies conducted in India with the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD).

UCL GDI Hub co-founder and Academic Director, Professor Cathy Holloway, said:

Although there were many partners and collaborators involved in Tacilia, the development of a low-cost tactile device for blind and partially sighted people to engage in STEM education was very much the brain-child of Dr Tigmanshu ‘Tigi’ Bhatnagar.  As a former PhD student with UCL, we are especially delighted to see his hard work celebrated by his engineering peers, and recognised as innovative, assistive technology with the potential to benefit many people throughout the world.

The award is supported by the Aerospace Technology Institute and recognises the groundbreaking work of the GDI Hub.

The GDI Hub team behind Tacilia will participate in the Disability Innovation Summit: Inclusive Interactions on 13 and 14 September 2023.

The GDI Hub team are on stage, holding their trophy.

Shortlisted: Engineering Society of the Year

Congratulations to the UCL Engineering Society, which was shortlisted Engineering Society of the Year!


The nominees for Engineering Society of the Year are on stage, holding their certificates.

A Bright Future for Our Winners


The Engineering Talent Awards have a track record of propelling finalists and winners to even greater heights. We look forward to seeing what this year's victors and nominees will do next!

UCL Engineering has a lot in store for the next academic year when it comes to supporting and inspiring the next generation of budding engineers and STEAM talent.

UCL Engineering has long been a leader in Engineering Education and outreach. In 2014, we set up the IEP, an innovative award-winning teaching framework emphasising creativity, communication, interdisciplinarity and teamwork, skills that our industry partners have identified as essential in a STEAM-ready, and work-ready,  young person. Our students learn through projects, group work and authentic scenarios, making them think about the social context of engineering and their impact on the community and society.

Our first cohort from the UCL Engineering Foundation Year is joining us in a few weeks on our brand new UCL East campus. The Foundation Year is a new pathway for young creative, thoughtful and hard-working people who aspire to join the STEAM sector but do not meet the standard entry requirements for UCL's undergraduate engineering degrees. 

This new degree is specifically aimed at applicants from areas with high levels of financial, social or economic deprivation, or low progression to higher education. They have to have studied in UK state schools or hold refugee status. The course aims to give the students a strong educational foundation to thrive as undergraduate students at UCL. Students in the Engineering Foundation Year have access to an extensive "wrap-around" support package and a mentor to build their confidence and prepare them to join one of the UCL Engineering undergraduate programmes.