UKNEST announces winners of annual Naval Engineering Competition

FOLD-OUT bridges, swarms of drones and a tadpole tail loading jetty were among the designs submitted for an annual engineering contest.

The contest, a collaboration between UKNest and the Royal Navy, promotes the importance of engineering across Years 1 to 6 and 7 to 11, encouraging innovative technical thinking by pupils.

Students were charged with designing a specialised vessel for delivering humanitarian aid in the aftermath of a natural disaster – very much in keeping with the Royal Navy’s role in responding to such instances.

All entries were reviewed by an expert panel of judges who considered their initial concept, proposed design and artwork.

Pupils from St Joseph’s RC Primary School in Kelty, Fife, Scotland, won the Years 1-6 category with their HMS Prince of Scotland submarine design, while Whitgift School in South Croydon took the honours in the Years 7-11 category with their futuristic vessel HMS Nightingale.

Commander Neil Benstead, one of the competition judges, said: “Once again, the quality of the entries was very high and made the judges consider the various aspects of the designs produced by the entrants. 

The participants used their imaginations to develop innovative ways to provide aid in real-world situations which we often see in the media. The challenge set by the UKNest Naval Engineering Competition encourages young people to solve problems and open their eyes to the wonder and opportunities of a career in engineering. This year’s competition entries exhibited some wonderful examples of creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, providing innovative solutions to the problem of how to provide aid in challenging conditions.

Muir Macdonald, UKNest Chair

Muir Macdonald, UKNest Chair, added: “The future of our extraordinary industry lies firmly with the next generation of aspiring engineers and scientists. It is our responsibility to inspire them – and be inspired by them.

“The Naval Engineering Competition is a superb opportunity for young people up and down the country to identify with the sea and the technology we will need as a forward-thinking maritime nation.

“This year's entries showed much thought and expression as the young teams got into the minds of the Royal Navy or a naval architect or a systems engineer to solve real and genuinely difficult problems. Bravo to all the pupils and teachers who were up for the challenge and worked hard to come up with fabulous ideas that we very much enjoyed assessing. Congratulations to the winners, runners up and to everyone – the very people who could be our naval technologists of the future."

Runners-up in Years 1-6 were HMS Pearl – Echline Primary School, South Queensferry and HMS Sunset – Overmonnow Primary School, Monmouth.

Runners up in Years 7-11 were HMS Damianos – The Thomas Hardeye School, Dorchester

All entries demonstrated a great deal of effort and fresh thinking. All winners and runners up will all receive an iPad for their school, which, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, will be presented during a special virtual awards ceremony later this year.