Cranfield student comes top in engineering vote

Cranfield University’s Matthew Hobbs has been voted one of the winners of the Royal Academy of Engineering’s I’m an Engineer ……. Get me out of here competition.

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The event consists of an online forum that runs over two weeks, where school pupils can ask engineers questions about their background, qualifications and daily working lives. Matthew competed in the ‘Water zone’ section of the competition, where he discussed his work on the removal of pesticides from drinking water using advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), carried out at Cranfield’s STREAM centre.

“Having received an email invitation to apply back in May, I was sure I could make this work sound interesting,” he said. “I completed six chat sessions with both primary and secondary school pupils in the first week of the competition.”

“I really enjoyed the sessions and I was impressed with the range and depth of questions asked such as ‘could I use my work to help people in other countries where water quality is poor’, and ‘does my process produce any harmful by-products’?”

The second week involved daily eliminations until just two finalists remained. Following a three-hour drop-in session where anyone who had taken part could come back to ask final questions, Matthew received confirmation that he had won.

“I was asked some really specific questions about the processes I use in my work on the final morning and I was really happy to answer them and share my work with others,” he said. “I really enjoyed my experience and I would highly recommend anyone else to take part in the next competition in November.”

Matthew has also declared that he will use his £500 prize money to create a portable drinking water treatment plant to take into schools to demonstrate the process that water goes through before it arrives at our homes.