Computing, Engineering and Built Environment Round-Up

Welcome to the monthly round-up of Computing, Engineering, and The Built Environment faculty. From students who have embarked on an Innovation Festival project to students winning awards left, right and centre, so much has been going on!

1. Students begin work on Innovation Festival projects

First-year CEBE students embark on an exciting journey as they begin their Innovation Festival projects. Over the next few months, they will work on developing and refining their ideas, with the aim of showcasing their final projects at the Innovation Festival in May 2023. Throughout the project, they will have access to mentorship and resources to help them bring their ideas to life.

Innovation Fest at Birmingham City University is an annual event that showcases innovative ideas and projects developed by first-year students from all schools. It provides a platform for students to demonstrate their creativity, entrepreneurship, and problem-solving skills by developing new products, services, or solutions that address real-world challenges.

We'll be following one of the teams, Team Error 404 (pictured above) and documenting their Innovation journeys, be sure to subscribe to the BCU YouTube channel to stay up to date!

2. Global Game Jam 2023 

The Global Game Jam® is an annual event, where participants work concurrently against the clock. In only 48 hours they are tasked with creating a video game around a theme revealed at the opening event. This was BCU’s 12th year in running the Birmingham silo of this event, and our first in person event since the pandemic. 

This year’s participants were tasked with designing and building games around the theme of “Roots”, along with some diversifiers to help inspire ideas and provide some extra challenges. These challenges range from using only MSPaint to create all of the game art to using a Kazoo to create all of the audio to more thought-provoking challenges, such as using the shades of blue and yellow in your games palette to recognise the current struggles in Ukraine.

We had 60 participants create a total of 10 games. Our panel of judges, including Gordon Bell, CTO of Nosebleed Interactive and our own Dr Carlo Harvey, selected 4 games to receive prizes for their efforts.You can see this years submissions here.

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3. Built Environment students placed 2nd at ASC Region 5 Competition

The Associated Schools of Construction’s (ASC) Region 5 (South Central) held their annual Student Construction Competition in Dallas, Texas, United States from 18-21 February. The competition, sponsored by leading construction organisations, saw 12 universities, 170+ students and over 25 construction companies. Consisting of three categories, the competition is based on actual construction projects for students to learn, problem solve and craft their own solutions. 

BCU partnered with Auburn University (US) to compete against nine other universities in the Design/Build category. The problem statement required the team to utilise an existing, derelict building to design and plan construction for a new, welcoming healthcare facility. The team presented to a panel of industry experts who just happened to have designed and built the same project the students were given. The BCU-Auburn Team placed a well-deserved 2nd place in an extremely competitive field.

“This international partnership allowed students from Auburn University and Birmingham City University to not only collaborate academically, but to share in a unique cultural exchange programme. A wonderful opportunity for built environment students to learn, broaden their perspectives and to make lasting friendships! Thank you to BCU and the School of Engineering and the Built Environment for their sponsorship, support and encouragement.” - Dr John Posillico, Senior Lecturer and CM Course Lead

4. BCU student wins Young Planner of the Year at the RTPI Awards

Doctoral Researcher Simeon Shtebunaev, has won Young Planner of The Year at the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) Awards for Planning Excellence 2022. 

The RTPI Awards for Planning Excellence are the most established and respected awards in the UK planning industry. Running for over 40 years, they celebrate exceptional examples of planning and the contribution planners make to society. For the first time since 2019, winners of individual categories at the Awards were revealed in person on 30 November at The Mermaid in central London.

Reflecting on his award win Simeon said “"Winning the Young Planner of the Year award is a great recognition of my work at Birmingham City University researching the role of teenagers in planning and teaching the next generation of young planners."

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