Bridge entry earns Scottish engineer recognition in global competition

Lauryn Steel. Image credit: Geraldine Curtis

A Scottish engineer has won bronze in an an international competition for her video tour highlighting the construction and design of some of Scotland’s most iconic bridges.

Lauryn Steel, who works as an economic development officer with Dumfries and Galloway Council, came third in the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) Pitch 200 contest, which challenged participants to explain an aspect of civil engineering in just 200 seconds.

The aim is to raise public awareness of the sector’s role in shaping communities and help to encourage more youngsters to consider careers in the industry.

Lauryn’s entry, ‘Let’s Talk About Bridges’, features bridges including Devorgilla Bridge, the Queensferry Crossing and the Kirkpatrick MacMillan Bridge. She was shortlisted from entries across the world to compete in an online public vote.

Lauryn said, “I am so proud to have finished third in such a prestige competition and would like to thank everyone who voted for me. I think the unique mix of strength and beauty that a lot of bridges have is very representative of engineering as a whole and even someone who is not involved in engineering can appreciate a great bridge.

“When you think about the function that bridges provide society it’s all about connecting places and ultimately connecting people so it’s a very fitting topic for Pitch 200 which is all about connecting with people to show them how great engineering is.”

ICE Scotland director, Hannah Smith, added, “When you consider Lauryn was up against engineers from across the world, all of whose films conveyed complex themes in an accessible and entertaining way, this is a marvellous achievement. Lauryn has shown that taking an unexpected perspective on a topic can aid everyone’s understanding and encourage fresh thinking.”

First place went to Verena Fernandes, representing south east England, with a video about the impact of dams on salmon migration, while Vivek Jhaveri representing the Middle East came second with a pitch about the use of 3D printed concrete in construction.