Department awards University of Oxford Engineering Innovator Prize at ‘Big Bang’ competition

Senior Research Associate Dr Priyanka Dhopade and Departmental Lecturer Dr Brian Sheil presented the University of Oxford Engineering Innovator Prize to student Manisha Waterston at The Big Bang UK Young Scientists & Engineers Competition last week.

The Big Bang Competition is an annual contest designed to recognise and reward young people's achievements in all areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM), as well as helping them build skills and confidence in project-based work.

Senior Researcher at the Department’s Osney Thermo-Fluids Laboratory, Dr Dhopade, says, “I was blown away by the quality and creativity of the projects on display at the Big Bang Science Fair. Manisha’s project “Music for the Eyes” was an excellent example of this, using a combination of maths, physics, programming and acoustics. She has a bright STEM career ahead of her.”

The University of Oxford Engineering Innovator Prize is awarded to an innovative project that incorporates more than one type of engineering. Notre Dame High School Glasgow student Manisha’s project Music for the Eyes involves the use of computer-generated tones from sinusoidal waves to create recognisable shapes and patterns on an oscilloscope. She was chosen from over 500 finalists from across the country after pitching her project to the competition judges.

Gabrielle Bouchard, Access and Outreach Officer at the Department of Engineering Science said, “All of the judges from Oxford’s Department of Engineering Science were incredibly impressed with the innovation and teamwork we saw at The Big Bang Competition”. The Department’s involvement in the competition is one of the many activities engaged in every year to interest young people in engineering and STEM.

Manisha has also been invited to attend the Department’s annual Lubbock Lecture on May 14, 2018. This year the keynote will be given by Professor Timothy Leighton FREng FRS, Professor of Ultrasonics and Underwater Acoustics within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

For more information and to enter next year’s Competition visit

Manisha Waterston wins Department of Engineering Big Bang prize

Image shows Dr Brian Sheil, Dr Priyanka Dhopade and BBC Science Presenter Greg Foot with Manisha at the Big Bang