29 April 2021

Congratulations to lower sixth formers Cameron Eilbeck and Dominic Wood on achieving joint second place in this year’s Blott Matthews Essay prize competition. They win £100 each. The competition required an essay in the form of an engineering report on one of the following projects:

  • The Lunar Excursion Module (LEM) used in the Apollo Moon landings
  • 5G Telecommunication Networks
  • Crossrail
  • The Milau Viaduct in southern France

The essay had to describe in outline the purpose and general functioning of the project, identify the key engineering challenges facing the project and the solutions to them. Limitations in the technology deployed needed to be included as were simple calculations and diagrams.

Cameron wrote an overview of the Apollo LEM, looking briefly at the challenges it faced and how it overcame them in terms of design and engineering. He largely wrote it from sources dating back to the landings themselves, such as engineers’ handbooks/reports and flight plans from the NASA archives. Dominic focussed on the Millau Viaduct. He analysed the forces on the bridge to provide context for the engineering choices of the structure and outlined the challenges of the construction process.

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