Student winners show their creative side in JCT student competition

Anna-Louisa Yiannakas, CIOB Professional Development Programme; graduated from Nottingham Trent University, has been named the winner of the JCT Student Essay Competition 2015, with her essay “Incentives to Innovate”.

Runner-up prizes were awarded to Omar Raja, Newcastle University, for his entry “Using Drones to Improve Construction Processes”, and Rachel Nicola Toor, Wolverhampton University, for her essay “In a time when the construction industry is growing, why is there such as skills shortage and how can we combat it before it’s too late?”

The ten shortlisted finalists were chosen from a wide range of institutions, such as Nottingham Trent University, Newcastle University, University of Wolverhampton, and Glasgow Caledonian University, among others, for a judging day that took place at JCT headquarters on 13 May 2015. The overall winner was awarded a prize of £1,000, with the two runners-up receiving prizes of £250 each.

Commenting on Anna-Louisa’s winning essay, the judging panel said:

“An exceptionally well crafted piece, which was highly relevant in its application to SMEs, it highlighted the key barriers and drivers to innovation in the industry and offered some real solutions. Our clear favourite.”

With a brief this year of “Creative Construction”, along with the option to submit academic style papers or journalistic articles, students had the widest remit of any of the previous competitions to interpret the brief as they saw fit. The emphasis for the judging panel was the quality of ideas, and there was no shortage in either the range or creativity of the entries, which brought fresh views on topics such as innovation, skills shortages, drones, waste management, fair payment, and augmented reality.

Entries were limited to 2,500 words and candidates took part in the competition by registering via the JCT website. The competition ran from 8 September 2014 to 18 March 2015.

This year’s judging panel comprised experts in construction law, education and skills, and the media, and included Tony Bingham – Barrister and Arbitrator at 3 Paper Buildings, Temple, Tom Fitzpatrick – Deputy Editor, Construction News, John Graham – Business Development Manager, Construction Youth Trust, and Alan Jones – Course Leader, BSc Building Services Quantity Surveying, College of Estate Management (CEM).