Meet the winners 2015

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After two days of judging for the Finalists, we can now reveal the winners of the National Science + Engineering Competition 2015.

 UK Young Engineer of the Year 2015

The UK Young Engineer of the Year, Colum McNally, really impressed the judges with his agrihammer- a machine which allows fence posts to be drilled into the ground and also allows wood to be chopped in a very safe manner, making farm life considerably easier, saving farmer’s lives and saving money.

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Colum, a cattle farmer from Northern Ireland, built the machine to prevent farming accidents and save money. Approximately 12 farmers a year are killed or injured in Northern Ireland in accidents with fence drilling machines and wood chopping. This invention will not only save lives, but save money, with the average machine for either activity costing £6,000, the machine that Colum invented was considerably cheaper.

Kate Bellingham, Chair of the Engineering and Technology judging panel, said "Colum is just brilliant. His project will make his work so much better, more accessible and it really is making the world a better place!”

“Winning the Competition is a wonderful opportunity for him and I am convinced he will be a great ambassador for science and engineering in the future."

Colum was ecstatic to win and said “It’s an absolute honour to be the UK Young Engineer of the Year 2015! I have worked so hard on my project, and really enjoyed applying maths and physics to solve a problem that’s so prominent in the agricultural community.”

He continued to say “I truly believe that it will save lives and money for many farmers, like myself.”

Colum hopes to go to University to study mechanical engineering in September. Congratulations, Colum!


UK Young Scientist of the Year 2015

The UK Young Scientist of the Year 2015, Sarah Sobka, wowed the judges with her project investigating how Lubiprostone, a drug used to treat irritable bowel syndrome, affects patients with cystic fibrosis.  

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Sarah conducted her project at University of Sheffield, and really enjoyed working in the lab.

Sarah showed a great aptitude for science and spoke of how she travelled to Tunisia to help provide humanitarian aid to refugees, and impressed the judges with her enthusiasm for science and ambition to become a medic and travel to countries which need humanitarian aid.

Jim Al-Khalili, Chair of the Science and Maths judging panel said, “What is so brilliant about Sarah is that she is incredibly smart, but could also explain her project in such a clear and understandable way. She is a true champion of science and engineering and will bring something special to the sector."

Sarah was thrilled to have won, and said “I’m extremely shocked to be the UK Young Scientist of the Year 2015, there were so many amazing projects here so to have won is a real privilege.”

Sarah hopes to go to University to study medicine. Congratulations, Sarah!