And finally… Rocky road

Explaining the similarities between road construction and a chocolate desert has won Nicolas Fauvergue ICE Scotland’s Pitch 200 award.

In just 200 seconds, Nicolas was able to demonstrate the different components of bitumen pavement - with the help of a tasty treat.

The competition asked civil engineers to demonstrate an aspect of their work to increase public awareness of the critical jobs they do to keep our society functioning and to inspire the next generation of the profession.

Submissions were shortlisted to a final three, with Peter Robinson, head of engineering, Scottish Canals, presenting the growing concept of ‘Sponge Cities’ a scalable approach contributing to better water management and Louise Smith, director of Caithness Renewables Ltd, describes the complexities of our bridges and what goes into building them.

32-year-old Nicolas was born and raised in the south of France and graduated from the University of Grenoble with a masters of civil engineering back in 2015. He moved to Scotland and after completing a civil engineering post-graduate degree in 2018 at the University of Strathclyde, joined the Glasgow highways team at WSP as a graduate engineer.

He initially mainly worked on road drainage design for a portion of the A9 dualling scheme and then got seconded to Scotland TranServ to gain experience in road cyclic maintenance design for the South West Scotland network – which is where he got the idea for the road pavement as a multi layered chocolate treat.

Nicolas said: “I am delighted to have won the competition and enjoyed sharing what engineers do in a fun format! For this event, I took inspiration into what attracted me to engineering when I was younger and how it was presented to me at that time.

“Pitch 200 is a great example of how we can explain our works in a simple and fun way. “Promoting engineering in a simple manner is the best way to explain it to the general public and attract talented young people in the industry.”

ICE Scotland director Hannah Smith said: “All the entries this year were of the highest standard but clearly Nicolas satisfied a hunger for engineering knowledge!

“Civil engineering is a hugely exciting profession and I’m sure Nicolas has inspired many people to get involved.”

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