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, 16 July 2009 Share Print EmailSize Text Normal Large Large Extra AP Writers addressed how technology can find answers to environmental problems enlarge This year's545 entries were received, with writers grappling with issues such as renewable energy, the global water shortage,gave medical solutions to new groups the chance to answer the question, "How can technology and engineering provide innovative solutions to the judges, I was impressed by the combination of scientific understanding and writing flair exhibited by all 14 essays that made the shortlist in both age groups. In the 14-18 age group, Leon Zhang from Urmston Grammar School in Manchester took the first prize of £700, while in the 19-24 age group, Gavin Harper, in the second year of a PhD at Cardiff University, netted the top award of £1,000. Technology Horizons Award, in association with The Independent and the Royal Academy of Engineering, and young people in two age diseases. A total of BoschHorizons Award, now in its fourth year, encourages students to think creatively about the changes and challenges facing the world. The award also Their essays also addressed the philosophical and public relations side of the engineer's role. As oneof them to choosechallenges?" of today's global The winners attended a presentation ceremony at The Royal The Technology of Engineering in London, hosted Bellingham, seeks to highlight Young Engineers, technology and engineering to young people, the inspire more drove the Thrust these subjects for a world A level and university. President of the importance of from Green, and pilot who supersonic car to study at Winner, 14-18:to think, for just a moment. In the past second,Academy a half acres of rainforest were cutby former Tomorrow's World presenter Kateof wildlife. Innow past minute, the energy used inand featuring presentationsmillion Andy of oil, whichRAF can never get back. In the past hour, 160 children died record 763 mph in 1997, and Peter Fouquet, President of Bosch UK. Take this timeis Leon Zhang one down, destroying the homes of many species the the UK was equal to 313 tons we from lack of access to safe drinking water and sanitation. Mother Earth in deep trouble. And it is our duty to get her out. and The prime example is finding can affect us all. Melting polar developing countries such as Africa. In one of the it seems we cannot escape them. scarce supply. Up to 250 million emphasising the problem. Yet, there areas by 2010, Our greatest strength as human beings is the ability to think. We can try such as stop to these global dilemmas. Oneproblems our Earth faces solutions to water problems inice caps, rising temperatures, the economic crisis –hottest places on Earth, water is inThe media has done its fair share Africans could live in water-stressed is a bright side. and more than 50 per cent of Africans suffer from water-related diseases to put a cholera and infant diarrhoea. However, there are solutions. Engineering has already produced breakthroughs. By pressurising sea water to produce vapour jets and filtering them through carbon nanotubes, we can get clean drinking water from sea water – an almost inexhaustible resource. It may sound complex, but such engineering feats can save millions of lives, not just in Africa but all over the planet. Japan day, Every has long been renowned for its mind-blowing technological advances that are often years ahead of the rest of the world. One of its most ambitious plans is to build a working space solar power system by 2030. By drawing on the colossal energy of the sun, it could meet the entire world's electricity requirements indefinitely without nuclear or GHG emissions. It sounds like a space-age dream, doesn't it? If successful, the impact on the world would be monumental. It would mean energy for schools, hospitals, and homes. It would mean another industrial revolution. The award people everywhere are doing their bit, from recycling newspapers at home, to developing hydrogen-powered fuel cell cars in a lab. We are finally entering an era where engineering and technology are making the world a better place. Take the time to think, for just a moment. Now stop, and think towards the future. Aged 14-18winners Urmston Grammar School, Manchester. Winner: Leon Zhang,Morris, St Olave's Grammar School, Kent Runner-up: Jonathan Emily Cullis, Ounsdale Sixth Form College, Wolverhampton; Max Iles, Worcester Sixth Form College; Constance Mantle, Highgate School, London; Ben Richardson, Cults Academy, Aberdeen; Ethan Simpson, Hawick High School. Highly Commended: Aged 19-24 Winner:Up: Alejandro Vicente-Grabovetsky, Cambridge University Gavin Harper, Cardiff University RunnerCommended: Thomas Barker, Sheffield Hallam University; Mohammad bin Jalil Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College; Holly Ferrie, Brunel University; Su Sean Goh, LSE; Cole Soutter, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Highly Schools: (those submitting most entries) Winning St Olave's Grammar School, Kent; Westcliff High School for Girls, Essex. Winner, 19-24: Gavin Harper Bespoke pieces are advocate a smattering of made-to-measure Savile Row suit, or a hand-made clean-tech solutions will borrow moreto be paidhigh exclusivity. That is couture. why one-off's are never going to change the world. They're just too expensive. Make fewer than 100 of them, and the cost of R&D is prohibitive. Churn them out like bottletops, and the initial costs of development dwindle into insignificance. While many would always expensive. Whether it's a tailor-cut nuclear power stations,cookie-cutter of furniture, there is a premium It makes for street business sense, and real piece Once we take a design, engineer out the complexity, make it cheaply and stamp turbinetheimpressive,style,a the price of innovation falls. from the engineeringthan haute a decade:theshows that once mass production intervenes,the hordes ofto increaseflocking to Primarni, who know theseifturbines are "onlyedge design, white". it and make a lot, you get a product that performs, at an acceptable price. concept can just as easily be understood by it's possible shoppers capacity quickly. that you take leading available in simplify GE announced in November is fast that it had the IKEAits 10,000th 1.5MW wind it outthat if you have for expensive material, whether silicon for a solar panel,over half – Another company, SolFocus 2008 this idea – Cool Earth Solar takes it further. knows you can produce a precision-reflecting surface that will give highfor just or top-notch wood forcan you engineer out of a parabolic reflector? Rather than trying to extract theand where using the amore expensive material is needless over-specification. So the most sunlight quality wood as theof money? becoming shipped an company that has only been in the market performance, how much it a table, there are parts of the product where you can use a cheaper material, mostUnlike Ford... given area, why not turn They are not feels anything but deflated about its idea of the Solar Industry. It While sunlight from and extract where IKEA uses amount facing veneer for its furniture, but makes the structure from cheaper recycled manufactured woods, so SolFocus is using a cheap mirror to concentrate the solar energy onto a small piece of high-quality silicon. It is using less of an expensive material to achieve a similar effect. The company the only people with same approach onto larger parabolic reflectors out of with bold ambitions – exceptionally cheap material, but one at a price lower than you costmake it due to its flimsy its associated carbon penalty. The concept is similar – rather than balloonslargemade from two circular the idea on its headarrays of cheap mirror that canfor a reflector formedafrom a point. sheet, and a shiny sheet. It'sdeveloping Solar One, ato a heavyweight problem.aBest of all, the lack (since upgraded to Solar Two),hardware this concept, and rather than making a one-off, break it down into modules that can be mass produced out of standard components, and you've got a recipe for cheap, clean power. metallised that nature... sheets of plastic fused together, so imagine a parabolic given energy on single clear The US threw £266m into a lightweight solution, concentrating plant with capacity of 64MW of weight means the mounting but take can be commensurately lean. Concentrating for engineersapply the plants isn't a make sufficient eSolar is a at a problem, and mylar – an out electricity from the technicaldoes not hold its form very well to a coal, where the unless you make it into a balloon. Premium helium party coating are areas of land can focus the Theapocryphal solarlong proven to be fictitious, carries – throw scale.fablemoney companyThe storyit's always theto churngenerate a sophisticated sunin inventing a pressurised pen the cost frompointrightfully betechnologies become ubiquitous.which could write in zero-G, while the Russians used awith expensive silicon, make solution – but reducing (that claim should with An challenge tale, answer. generating complexity an important for clean-tech. goes that possible to Americans invested a small fortune attributed to Dr Paul C Fisher) pencil. Cheap and a lot is the
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