Students win prize for Have I got sustainable transport news

Issue date: 23 March 2009

The winning student team A team of students who made a spoof version of the famous news quiz comedy programme have won £600 in the annual Deans conference held at the University of the West of England. The team have been invited to a special dinner at Bristol's Grand Hotel on Friday 27 March to receive their prize and certificates.

Student teams competed for the cash prize that presents a great chance to learn about delivering a winning presentation or 'pitch'.

This year's teams presented on topics covering Brownfield housing, waste and recycling, renewable energy and sustainable transport.

The winning team calling themselves G6 used the style of Have I got Sustainable Transport News for You, to introduce a panel which included Margaret Thatcher (aka Stephanie Budd from Property Development and Planning), Ken Livingstone (aka Ian Marshall from Civil Engineering), Al Gore (aka Michael Knight from Geography), Angus Deayton (aka Alex Nodes from Architecture and Planning), James May (aka Allen Ryan from Real Estate), Boris Johnson (aka Andy Miles from Planning with Transport) and Jeremy Clarkson (aka Panayiotis Karalis from Geography and Environmental Management).

Topics covered in their 10-minute presentation included bus transport in London, Walk-to-Work and car-sharing schemes, environmental impact of cars, use of hydrogen and bio-fuels, social inclusion issues in cycling and access to public transport and new technologies, such as the Personal Rapid Transit system planned for Heathrow and Bristol's long-discussed Light Rail Transit system proposal. As well as wide ranging content, delivered in confident style with good humour, and individual summaries of personal perspectives, the whole team shared the task of responding to a testing range of questions from the judging panel and an invited audience of A-Level Geography students and their teachers from Colston's Girls and QEH Schools.

Tony Westcott, a course leader at UWE's School of the Natural and Built Environment, said, “We are keen to ensure that our students are prepared for the demands that will be expected of them once they are working with industry customers. Many professionals working in the built and natural environment find themselves operating on complex projects that will demand the ability to collaborate with others across professional boundaries to come up with creative solutions to the sustainability challenges facing us, whether from climate change or social inequality.

“Good inter disciplinary presentation and team working skills are a key component in making cross-disciplinary collaborative ventures work and in ensuring our graduates have 'high added value' competencies to distinguish themselves in a challenging graduate employment market.”

“This year 404 students from 56 interdisciplinary teams of final year undergraduate students have competed in the annual competition to come up with the best professional presentation designed for an external conference on sustainable development.”

The annual Dean's Conference competition is sponsored by the Great Western Branch of the Forum for the Built Environment, a national organisation of multi-disciplinary professionals, who sponsor the £600 prize for the winning team.

The judging panel was chaired by Professor Martin Boddy, Dean of Faculty, and included, David Priddis (Kier Construction), Celia Beeson (Bristol City Council Sustainable City Team Manager) and Gail Holliday (Head of Geography, Colston Girls School).


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