The 2012 New Civil Engineer Graduate of the Year Awards

Andrew Mather (Keble College), who graduated with a first class honours degree from the Department of Engineering Science, was one of the finalists for this year’s New Civil Engineer (NCE) Graduate of the Year. The NCE magazine’s Awards recognise the best and brightest graduates that demonstrate strong academic and practical achievements in their career combined with putting into practice what they learned at University.

Andrew Mather receiving NCE award
Andrew Mather receiving his award from Antony Oliver, Editor of the NCE (pictured left) and Chris Hollins, BBC presenter (right).
Andrew was one of six finalists selected from a record 115 worldwide entries. Each finalist faced gruelling interviews from a panel of 17 senior directors from the awards’ sponsoring companies and gave a 30 minute presentation on their academic and engineering capabilities to the judging panel. All six finalists were regarded as winners and were rewarded with a share of the record £4,000 prize pot at the Awards ceremony, which was attended by 200 invited guests at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London. The overall winner was Jamie Radford from Cambridge University.

Highlights of Andrew’s achievements include volunteering in Haiti where he worked on their housing, schools and latrine construction programme following the 2010 earthquake that devastated so many of the island’s buildings and infrastructure. He also spent six months working on oil and gas projects in the Canadian city of Calgary where he focused on sustainability and safety.

Continuing to act as an ambassador for the profession, Andrew currently heads up the Graduate Task Group at Ramboll, a leader in the field of buildings and design, infrastructure, transport, environmental services and renewable energies. Here Andrew leads a group through activities ranging from promoting engineering at school & university talks to participating in international charity projects.

Andrew MatherAndrew is thrilled to have his contributions to engineering recognised by the NCE Awards: “Engineering has always been a passion of mine and studying all the numerous disciplines and seeing the interconnection whilst at Oxford was fantastic. For me as a structural engineer my work is focused on pushing the boundaries of building design and construction, with recent projects including high rise residential schemes on the banks of the Thames near Battersea, London Heathrow upgrade work and a new hotel above a central London Underground station. Each of these requires not only technical knowledge and skill, but also creative thinking to unlock problems through innovation. Oxford’s tutorial system equipped me well for this!

Andrew added: “However, engineering is not just about calculations to me. The transformation impact that good engineering can make on a community was highlighted to me by some time spent over in Haiti, with an NGO called Tearfund, between leaving Oxford and starting with Ramboll. Here I saw my design input to hurricane and earthquake resistant shelters completely change lives. Many schools and houses were constructed which now offer a safe and dependable starting point for people to rebuild their lives from. The structures won’t ever win prizes for architectural design or creative use of modern materials, but it’s a story of how civil engineering transformed a remote community, and its stories such as these that show the full picture of engineering and its impact. I hope this side of engineering alongside the technical challenge inspire a new generation to take up this great profession!

Find out more about the Graduate of the Year Awards at the NCE website (subscription required).