Pitch 200

2021 winner announced

Pitch 200 challenges ICE members to use their creativity to communicate a civil engineering principle or idea in an accessible and entertaining way in just 200 seconds!

Eight civil engineers with a passion for what they do and a desire to communicate with a wider audience were shortlisted from international entries. More than 3,400 votes were cast in the online public vote during July and August 2021.

The 2021 Pitch 200 champion is Verena Fernandes, a graduate engineer representing South East England, who attracted the highest number of votes with a pitch video on dam construction presented from the point of view of migrating salmon. Second place went to Vivek Jhaveri representing the Middle East and Scotland’s Lauryn Steel came third.

Pitch 200 finalists

First prize – South East England

Verena Fernandes

Graduate Civil Engineer, Wokingham Borough Council

Ask the salmon: consequences of dams on salmon migration and solutions

Verena takes a salmon-eye view of dams in her Pitch 200. With a touch of humour, she looks at why fishway bypass diversions don’t always work and makes the case for engineers to adapt designs based on animal behaviour science to improve the impact on wildlife and nature.

Second prize – Middle East

Vivek Jhaveri

Graduate Civil Engineer, Heriot-Watt University

3D printing in construction

For his Pitch 200, Vivek looks at 3D printed concrete, its applications in the construction industry and how it can help reduce waste. Food features heavily in his pitch, as he uses melted chocolate, wafers and squirty cream to demonstrate key principles.

Third prize – Scotland

Lauryn Steel

Principal Technician, Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Engineering Design Service and Owner, Steel Engineering Technician Services

Let's talk about bridges

Lauryn covers a lot of ground in her Pitch 200 – literally! At the click of her fingers, she takes us on a tour of different bridge types, explaining the basic characteristics and differences. Lauryn’s pitch is a must for bridge lovers everywhere.

Middle East

Basil Ismail

Civil Engineering Student, Manipal University Dubai

Shear walls: earthquake engineering

Basil shines a spotlight on the unsung hero of earthquake engineering – the shear wall. He explains its role in making buildings stronger and safer in earthquake areas. Using books as props, Basil demonstrates the basic principles of how a shear wall helps to resist lateral forces.

West Midlands

Faizan Khan

Assistant Design Engineer, Severn Trent Water


Faizan has picked a topic close to his heart by focusing on the issue of water loss through pipe leakage. In a clear and informative pitch, he sets out the scale of the problem and explains the benefits of using polyethylene mains pipes as a solution.


Gabriel Solis

Assistant Engineer, WSP

What’s permeable paving?

In his pitch, Gabriel outlines the growing problem of urban flooding and pollution and the part that permeable paving can play as a solution. He brings this to life with a simple experiment to replicate the principles of permeable paving using stones, charcoal and sand.

North East

Paula McMahon

Engineer, Sir Robert McAlpine

Engineering our way out of extinction

Paula brings creativity to her pitch in bucket loads, as she makes the case for civil engineers as saviours of the planet and humanity to boot. With an unexpected introduction and several cameo performances, Paula’s video delivers a powerful message in a highly engaging way.

South West

Ryan Finnimore

Apprentice Engineer, Richter Associates Ltd

Chimney demolition

With the help of a tower of bagels, a sparkler, a rope and some flour, Ryan stages a simulation of a chimney demolition, complete with dramatic music. He also explains some of the key principles involved in ensuring a safe and effective demolition, including the use of modelling software.