Hawkins engineer wins Institution of Civil Engineers competition

Bernard Travers, part of the civil engineering team at Hawkins, won the Institution of Civil Engineers’ (ICE) London Pitch180 Competition by using confectionary to show how cracks develop in buildings.

The competition, held on Monday 30th January, saw nine civil engineers give a 180 second pitch explaining their chosen concept in the weirdest and wackiest way possible. Bernard used a ‘shortbread chateau’ and ‘pink wafer walls’ to simulate real life buildings. By recreating cracks in food, he showed why subsidence occurs and why cracks often show up near windows.

Explaining what inspired him to use food, Bernard said: “For the last couple of years I've had a Christmas party with a few friends (including quite a few civil engineers) where we build gingerbread houses - there is nothing like a construction competition to get people in the Christmas spirit! Unfortunately, my attempts are generally more 'DIY SOS' than 'Great British Bake Off' though.”

Bernard is now the ICE London Public Ambassador, and said of his new role: “I'm proud to have been given the opportunity to help ICE connect with the general public - I believe that if more people knew what civil engineers really do - the projects we actually work on - the profession would get more of the recognition it deserves.”

The full video of Bernard’s presentation can be viewed below.

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