The IET Global Challenge

2018/19 Winners announced

The IET has named the winners of its global engineering challenge, which tasked young entrepreneurs to develop an innovative solution to help clean up the estimated 18 billion pounds of increasing plastic waste that enters our oceans each year.

Partnering with Greenpeace and GreenSeas Trust, the IET set two very different challenges, looking at reusable packaging in supermarkets and tackling the trillions of cigarettes currently in our waters, with teams needing to solve one of them to be in with the chance of working with organisations that can make a real difference.

The winning teams from both challenges received a £500 cash prize, trophy and an all-expenses-paid trip to attend the IET Innovation Awards, where their winning solutions were revealed to the audience.

GreenSeas Trust winner

Team Baywatchers

Team Baywatchers from Oxfordshire made up of Helena Livesey (25), Jonathon Witty (24), George Fulton (23), and Alexander Morgan (25) has developed a crab-like robot concept, KRABB-E, which has been designed to collect cigarette-butts from UK beaches.

Baywatchers Team member Helena Livesey, who is a Mechanical Design Engineer at the UK Atomic Energy Authority, explains:

“We wanted to enter as we thought the challenge could have a real positive and global impact and we’re delighted to have won! We were quite surprised but glad all of our hard work has paid off.

“Engineering and technology are so vital to help tackle environmental change – we can use it to fix problems that we’ve already caused – like with the use of KRABB-E – but also to monitor and inform new technologies, helping to change behaviours and how we interact with our environment.”

Greenpeace winner

Team NanoMalaysia

Team NanoMalaysia from Malaysia made up of PhD students Ivan Ling (27), Pauline Phoon Bao Lee (28), Tan Chin Joo (28) and Ong Chong Cheen (27), has developed a new approach, PICAS block, which provides an alternative for packing dried, loose food products by using carrageenan and starch to create dissolvable food blocks, in the hope of significantly reducing the amount of plastic waste from supermarkets.

NanoMalaysia Project leader Ivan Ling, says:

“We’re extremely honoured to be chosen as the winner for this prestigious award. We never thought a small team like ours would have the chance to travel to the UK – it’s very exciting. We plan to develop the PICAS block further and hope to have it commercialised in the near future.”

Baywatchers Krabb-E Pitch


Check out our Global Challenge video

Previous winners

Every two years we run this fantastic competition which is designed to give engineers early in their career the opportunity to develop business skills and acumen that they may not have had the chance to do yet in their workplace.

The application process involves teamwork, problem-solving, building a business case and presenting this through an elevator pitch so enables young professionals to develop particular skills that will help them in their career, and is something they can add to their CV to help with their employability. Each iteration we have a new topic of focus elected to tackle real-world issues.

Take a look at our 2017 competition winners

Take a look at our 2015 competition winners

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