Birmingham engineer wins award for delicious demolition demo

A Birmingham engineer has won the Institution of Civil Engineers’ Pitch 200 competition, using cakes and biscuits to showcase sustainable demolition techniques.

Birmingham engineer
(Credit: ICE)

Imogen Graves, an assistant design manager at LM JV, used the baked goods in her presentation ‘Demolition: what a load of rubbish!’. With building models made from cakes and biscuits, Imogen explained the difference between more traditional methods of demolition, where materials become contaminated and are unusable, and a more sustainable process that enables 90 per cent of construction waste to be recycled.

“I am absolutely delighted to have won,” said the Birmingham engineer. “The competition was strong, the other finalists had very impressive pitches.

“This pitch is one I use when engaging with school children, encouraging them to think about civil engineering as a future career. I look forward to continuing to communicate ideas and concepts about our industry as ICE Ambassador next year.”

Pitch 200 is part of the ICE’s bicentennial celebrations, with the Institution seeking to encourage young people to see civil engineering as a creative, rewarding and highly enjoyable career. The global final of the competition was held at the ICE’s London headquarters and hosted by TV presenter Rob Bell, who welcomed contestants from the UK, the Netherlands, Hong Kong, Bangladesh and Australia. Imogen was awarded £1,000 for the top prize and will act as an ICE Ambassador in 2019, using her communication skills to improve the understanding of the general public on civil engineers transform lives and impact the world around them. Events are planned for throughout 2018 and information will be made available on the ICE website.

“Imogen presented a cutting-edge approach to waste reduction in demolition, and if that sounds dry, her presentation was anything but. A really talented civil engineer,” said chair of the judging panel, Sir Peter Bazalgette.