On Wednesday 1 February, we will be unveiling the winning design of the 2017 Create the Trophy competition. The top entry will then be 3D printed by BAE Systems and transformed into the iconic QEPrize trophy, to be presented to the winners of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering at Buckingham Palace later this year.

For the first time ever, this year’s contest was open to entries from all around the world, and we were blown away by the number and quality of the submissions. Entrants from 32 countries worldwide took part in the competition, giving the judges thousands of trophies to choose from. The expert panel of judges, led by Science Museum director Ian Blatchford, were then tasked with whittling the ten best designs down to just one winner.

Submitting the top ten entries were Ben Worrall from the UK; Harrison Saville from Australia; Connor Lee Barnett from the USA; Vivian Teh from Singapore; Samuel Bentley from the UK; Philip Hung from the UK; Solomon Rorellien from India; Robert Turner from the UK; Joe Ireland from Canada; and Andrew Onulak from the USA.

Ranging in age from 14 to 24, the design finalists included students, engineers, zoologists and airport crew from across the globe.  The trophies themselves drew inspiration from the diversity of backgrounds, while each designer captured what engineering meant to them.

Andrew’s spiralling design for example, reflects the spray of rain as it is pulled through the air by the enormous Boeing aircraft he works with every day. Philip’s hourglass honours the timelessness of engineering, while Robert’s deconstructed wall symbolises the building and evolution of ideas into a final, solid solution. Samuel’s staggered pyramid, styled on a nearby mountain, is a nod to achievement earned by QEPrize winners.

As well as testing the design skills of entrants, the competition also influenced how each of the finalists viewed engineering as a whole. For Joe, taking part in the competition reinforced his decision to become an engineer, highlighting that creativity and logic can help solve real-world problems. “I also developed an appreciation of the challenged of engineering and what it takes to achieve excellence in this diverse, inspiring and rewarding career,” he said.

As a young engineer himself, Create the Trophy showed Robert the opportunities available to those just starting out in their career; while also opening Ben’s eyes to the influence of engineering the world over.

“I see now that engineering has a much more significant impact on us all than we think, and that great advancement in engineering, comes great reward for all of us, as a human race,” he said.

When it came to setting the challenges for future engineers, our finalists were united in their desire to see engineering make the world a better place.

Ben and Vivian hope advances in biomedical engineering will benefit those with physical disabilities; while Joe, Robert and Solomon are keen for engineers to solve our energy issues and find sustainable alternative fuel sources.

“I believe that working towards a more renewable future in terms of energy and waste is one of the key problems that the world faces at the moment,” Robert said.

The answer could even be within our reach. “Materials are everywhere,” said Philip. “And advances in material science could unlock countless opportunities for development, as they have done in the past. More than anything, I am excited to see the applications of graphene, and how far engineers can push the material and use it to its full potential.”

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to see which design will win! The competition winner will be announced alongside the winner of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering on 1 February 2017.

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