Research engineer Peter Cooper is NCE Graduate Awards 2015 runner-up

(14 December 2015) - Peter Cooper, an engineering graduate from the University of Bristol, was runner-up in the New Civil Engineer Graduate Awards 2015. Peter is now undertaking an EngD, sponsored by Arup, at the university's Systems Centre.

The NCE Graduate of the Year competition is the Institution of Civil Engineers' highest student honour.

In what judges described as an unusually tough field of candidates, Peter was praised for his extensive experience with charity Engineers Without Borders at university, and with his proactive roles since graduating, driving the agenda of civil engineering in policy and leading the profession's work in a new field – Smart Cities.

Describing Peter as 'fearless', judges conceded that they themselves had been inspired to go further with their own efforts to raise the profile of the profession in society after hearing Peter speak, and stated that he would 'go very far, very fast'.

Peter completed a 1st Class degree in Engineering Design at Bristol, during which he earned the university's highest honour, the Convocation Award,  before carrying on to do an engineering doctorate (EngD) at the university's Systems Centre. This arrangement enables Peter to work as a consultant at sponsoring organisation Arup, while undertaking research at the university. His work, supervised by the University’s Theo Tryfonas, focuses on the impacts of data and new technology on the design, creation and operation of cities, and on developing new business models to create sustainable services within them.

Peter says:

"I have always been extremely passionate about the power and responsibility of Engineering to shape a better world and am very grateful for the ICE's recognition of my efforts to advance the profession through this award. We are reaching a critical point in society where the future's challenges can only be tackled if Engineers become more influential on a political level, more innovative and risk-accepting and a more diverse community. This award is an excellent platform to support my campaign for this to be a reality. Already I have a been a guest at several conferences, dinners and client receptions as a result of this accolade, and have created network connections, research collaborations and client ventures all with the combined end of creating more sustainable, more profitable and more equitable cities. 
"The EngD has been a key stepping stone on my career path. The combination of academic independence allows me to focus on the most crucial issues for my team, yet real-world, client-side practical experience provides legitimacy, evidence and impact for my work. 
"Arup, my sponsoring organisation, has already emerged as a leader in the design and operation of the future's tech-rich urban areas. I aspire to lead it to expand its expertise to the strategies of those companies who build, operate and own structures and services within them."