UCL Department of Science, Technology, Engineering and Public Policy



Our expert judging panel chose one winner and a runner up, who will both receive attendance to the next Global Grand Challenges Summit, courtesy of the Royal Academy of Engineering.

Winner: Virtual expertise: crowdsourcing engineering solutions

Team members: Bethany Gordon (University of Virginia)


The judges said: 

"Outstanding podcast that addresses numerous themes and aspects of ‘Engineering a Better World’. Very accessible and tangible; very engaging and enthusiastic way of communicating with the listener. 

"Great engagement piece that is in good shape to be broadcasted."

"Very clear, well structured and engaging podcast. Very good scene-setting in the introduction. As a listener, I got immersed in the story and wanted to learn more about how virtual reality can help design and better tailor engineering solutions to specific humanitarian crises. Well balanced and very professional."

Runner-up: Encouraging women into STEM education

Team members: Katie Brown (Auburn University), Yun Gu (Peking University)

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The judges said: 

"Well explained, nice use of personal experience on subject, well researched, strong international links and effectively communicated particularly to a non technical audience."

"Lots of interesting data presented, as well as lots of interviews." 

"The students also present their own experiences which I found very moving."

Meet the judges

Randy Atkins

Randy Atkins

Randy is the director of communications/media relations for the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (NAE), where he assists journalists with coverage of stories about engineers and engineering.  He led a high-profile effort, involving a blue-ribbon committee of leading technological thinkers to identify the 21st Century's "Grand Challenges for Engineering" which is having wide-ranging impacts, especially in education.  

Alok Jha

Alok Jha

Alok is the science correspondent at ITN, working on news and current affairs for ITV. Before that, he was at the Guardian for more a decade, where he wrote news, features, comment and presented the award-winning Science Weekly podcast. He has also reported live from Antarctica and written and presented several TV and radio programmes for the BBC.

Jack Leeming

Jack Leeming

Jack is the Editor of Naturejobs, the world’s leading dedicated science jobs board and careers hub, by Nature Research.

Oliver Morton

Oliver Morton

Oliver is The Economist‘s briefings editor; he has previously been a senior editor at Nature and Wired. His most recent book is "The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World".   

Yannis Ortsos

Yannis Yortsos

Yannis is Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. He is the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and holds the Zohrab A. Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering. He is well known for his work on fluid flow, transport and reaction processes in porous and fractured media with applications to the recovery of subsurface fluids and soil remediation. He is a member of the US  National Academy and one of the co-founders of the Grand Challenges Scholars Program.  

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