Jack Patterson wins The Contribution to the Business Award 2014

The 18th September 2014 marked the national final of The Contribution to the Business (CTTB) competition for 9 Year in Industry students. Finalists travelled from across England and Scotland as to represent top UK companies which included Centrica, Siemens Vascutek Ltd., Orwin, Rolls-Royce plc, Breathing Buildings, Shell Global Solutions, UTC Aerospace Systems and Chemring Countermeasures Ltd.

These bright engineering students had all undertaken a Year in Industry, the placement programme delivered by EDT (Engineering Development Trust) connecting employers with talented pre-university and undergraduate students, and giving young people an insight into the real world of work, helping them to build their business network and confidence within an industrial environment. Employers take on these students annually realising the advantages of having talented, flexible and motivated members of staff who provide a valuable resource for both short and long term projects.

On the day each student, having already beaten many other students within their regions to attend the national final, presented their solutions to attendees of The Contribution to the Business final as well as to a panel of judges. Solutions presented included; the design of a razor blade assembly machine, development of an in-cycle probing process, development of a methodology for undertaking carbon value chain analysis, the design of 3D printed plastic funnels and more. The solutions were not only innovative and highly valued by the supporting companies, many of them also offered cost saving solutions.

Following the solution presentations, more guests arrived to attend the evening presentations and awards ceremony, with guest speakers including George Hopkins from HiETA Technologies Ltd who spoke about the advances and benefits of 3D printing (Additive Manufacturing) and last year’s winner of the award Ciarán McEvoy who spoke about the difference The Year in Industry made to his life. Sebastian Pearce, Vice President at J.P. Morgan, former YINI student and winner of the 2001 CTTB, described to attendees how solving problems in his placement with GKN AutoStructures paved the way for his career at J.P. Morgan. Keynote speaker Professor Dame Ann Dowling from the Royal Academy of Engineering, gave an inspiring speech that relayed her career and academia highlights as well as urging other businesses to get involved and provide more young people with the opportunity to gain experience in industry.

The evening ended with Chairman of the Board of Trustees from EDT, Nick Buckland OBE, awarding this year’s prize winners. The 2014 IET Prize for Innovation went to Ben Weeks finalist from the South West, for his work on designing 3D printed plastic funnels with Chemring Countermeasures Ltd. The 2014 Centrica Prize for Environmental Awareness went to Jonathan Hodges finalist from the North West, for his work with Shell Global Solutions where he manufactured an automated document management system. The overall prize and winner of the national final was awarded to Jack Patterson, finalist from the North East who worked with Orwin on the design of a razor blade assembly machine.

The event was a huge success, with many attendees from industry coming to celebrate this monumental occasion. With the skills gap in the UK high on industry agenda, it is events like The Contribution to the Business Awards and placement programmes like The Year in Industry which will help equip young people with the employability skills they need to make an impact when they enter industry, which was clearly demonstrated through this entire event.

If you are a company looking to recruit talented young people for your graduate roles, why not try The Year in Industry. Contact the team now to discuss your requirements.



Date published: 
September 19, 2014