ICE Pitch 200: Truro engineer takes home this year's top prize

A 200-second pitch about how concrete could be replaced has won the first prize in the national ICE competition.

Jasmine Tombs, WSP engineer and Pitch 200 winner.
Jasmine Tombs, WSP engineer and Pitch 200 winner.
Jasmine Tombs, a 26-year-old civil engineer working for WSP in Truro, Cornwall, is celebrating after winning the ICE Pitch 200 national competition, held in Belfast recently.
After coming top in the south west regional final in July, Tombs beat six other finalists from across the UK with her 200-second pitch on ‘Building a Sustainable Future’.

Her presentation focused on how we could replace concrete.


A world without concrete

The current mainstay of the construction industry, concrete accounts for 8% of man-made CO2 emissions, according to a Chatham House report.

Tombs believes that one day, a cross-laminated timber substitute could be used to build houses and even skyscrapers, making concrete a thing of the past.

The event was hosted by award-winning science communicator and radio host Emer Maguire, and took place at the W5 Interactive Discovery Centre in Belfast.

Tombs, who won the ICE Emerging Engineer of the Year Award in 2017, impressed a high-profile panel of judges, including BBC News TV reporter Mark Simpson, last year's Pitch 200 winner and Assistant Design Manager at J Murphy & Sons Ltd, Imogen Graves, and  Emer Murnaghan – ICE Vice President and Head of Responsible Sustainable Business at GRAHAM.

“Engineering is such a fascinating industry and we are at a very exciting point within the profession, in terms of both sustainability and also digital advances. Engineering has such an impact on our day-to-day lives and the ICE Pitch 200 competition will hopefully inspire the next generation of engineers and show what can be achieved," Tombs said. 

Miranda Housden, ICE South West Director, said: “We are all delighted that Jasmine has won the national Pitch 200 competition. I’m not surprised she has notched up another award as she is such a talented and charismatic civil engineer who will go far, inspiring school children across the country to take up a fulfilling yet understated career transforming people’s lives for the better.”

Watch the higlights video, below

The other finalists

The other national finalists included: