We prove that engineering and technology pictures can be creative, with this winning selection from the IET’s Photographer of the Year competition
The Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) holds an annual photography competition, supported by Amateur Photographer. At its heart, the competition aims to challenge existing misconceptions about engineering – of it being all about hard hats, high-vis bibs and oily boiler suits – and encourage more young people, and especially women, to consider a scientific career.
Launched earlier in the year the contest was open to any photograph of an engineering-related subject that captures the dynamic, creative and progressive face of engineering and engineers today. A panel of judges, fronted by The Gadget Show’s Georgie Barrat and including AP Editor Nigel Atherton, assessed more than 400 photos entered into 11 categories.
Here are the winning entries, along with a selection of our favourite commended ones.
Winner, Digital – Callum Woodford
This photo, taken at the University of Sheffield, shows a girl using a virtual reality (VR) headset to explore an architectural environment. ‘Architectural design is being radically reformed by immersive virtual environments allowing for rapid prototyping and real-time feedback,’ explains Callum.
Overall winner and winner, Environment and Energy – Mike Glendenning
This shows an engineer in the environmental testing facility at Leonardo in Edinburgh. The facility provides extreme environmental testing on complex electronic systems. ‘Modern, sophisticated electronic systems can fail due to the extreme conditions they are used in,’ explains Mike, ‘and where failure is not an option someone needs to be able to create real-world conditions to ensure failure is minimised. That’s what professional environmental engineers do.’
Winner, Structure – James Birchall
Above the clouds on the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the Subaru Infrared Telescope will spend a night of star gazing once the sun sets.
Winner, Transport – Peter Thomas
Peter is an aircraft mechanic working at British Airways Maintenance Cardiff and a keen amateur photographer. ‘Early one morning we had a visit from a Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for a trial fit in one of our maintenance bays,’ he recalls. ‘It was a beautiful morning with the onset of sunrise so I took the opportunity to take some images of the aircraft being towed into the hanger with a full complement of observers and two zip-ups [moveable platforms] – one to each wing while the aircraft was being docked.’
Winner, Design and Production – Kathryn Graham
‘I was asked to photograph the team who built the LVP1 satellite at SSTL [Surrey Satellite Technology],’ says Kathryn. ‘As they were gathering for the shot in the clean room, I took some natural shots around the spacecraft and noticed the team’s reflections on the satellite. I thought it would make an interesting picture.’
Winner, Best Smartphone Photo – Sudip Maiti
This image, taken in Kolkata, shows a young girl explaining the benefits of solar energy to her grandmother.
Youth category winners
Youth winner, Design and Production – Rosina Canty
Ultra-precision engineering in Haverhill, Suffolk.
Youth winner, Environment and Energy – Ben Steel
A groyne on Worthing beach.
Youth winner, Structure – Nathan Phua
Buildings in 51 Lime Street, London, including the Lloyd’s Building.
Youth winner, Digital – Jodie Culmer
Encryption rotors, Bletchley Park.
Youth winner, Transport – Mackenzie Hall
The Dubai Metro surrounded by skyscrapers.
Muhammad Salman Zahid
The Eiffel Tower replica in Lahore, Pakistan.
Staircase in the Gran Hotel Domine, Bilbao.
The Mode Gakuen Cocoon Tower, Tokyo.
An RAF Boeing E-3 Sentry, during the RAF flypast over the Mall in London.
The Falkirk Wheel, Scotland. This rotating boat lift is the only one of its kind in the world.
Shivani Sai Valluri
The Bandra-Worli Sea Link bridge in Mumbai.
- Nigel Atherton, Editor, Amateur Photographer
- Georgie Barrat, Presenter of The Gadget Show
- Dr Ozak Esu, IET Young Woman Engineer of the Year
- Gillian Abbott, Picture Editor, E&T Magazine