For the second year the National Centre for Universities and Business (NCUB) is running the National Engineering Competition for Girls, open to every girl in secondary education in the UK.

Girls can enter individually or in groups, and independently or through their schools, and need to find a creative way to explain existing engineering solutions to the world’s challenges or invent and devise their own solutions. Students could tackle anything from climate change, to housing scarcity, to global diseases, to food shortages, or anything else they think engineering could help solve.

The winner of each age category wins £500 for them and £500 for their school as well an engineering mentor to help them if they’re thinking about a career in engineering. There are also £100 prizes for runners-up in each category and the finalists will have the opportunity to display their entries at the Big Bang Fair 2015 with another £200 prize for the best display.

The campaign forms part of NCUB’s Talent 2030 campaign to double the percentage of engineering students that are women and tackle the severe lack of women working in engineering in the UK (currently it is only 7%, the lowest level in Europe).

Olivia Jones, a chartered engineer and NCUB Talent 2030 Project Manager, said:

“Engineers will find solutions for most of the biggest problems of the 21st century but unfortunately there aren’t enough women getting their great ideas in the mix.

“The competition is a great opportunity for young women to tackle the big issues that interest them and find out more about engineering. We hope that they’ll see that engineering can solve thousands of important challenges and that they’ll think about a job in the field in future.”


Competition details

Posters, fact sheets and other resources are available for teachers and STEM ambassadors to help them run the competition as a classroom or extracurricular activity. Resources can be requested from

Who can enter:

  • The competition is open to all female students in secondary education
  • Girls can enter independently or through their schools
  • There are 3 different age categories (11-14 (Y7-9), 15-16 (Y10-11) and 17-18 (Y12-13))
  • Girls can enter individually or in groups of up to 6
  • Open to girls from all subject areas
  • One entry per group/individual (schools can submit multiple entries but girls cannot)

Key dates:

  • Competition entry open: 29th September 2014
  • Competition entry deadline: 4pm on 19th December 2014
  • Big Bang Fair: All shortlisted finalists are invited to attend the Big Bang Fair on Saturday 14th March 2015. To find out more about the fair visit: 


  • £1000 for the winner of each category! £500 for the student(s) and £500 for their school.
  • £100 for each runner-up entry! 3 runner-up places in each category.
    (prize money to be shared between all entrants for team entries)
  • Engineering mentor for each category winner
  • All competition entrants have the opportunity to get a Bronze, Silver or Gold CREST Award. Shortlisted finalists who qualify for the award will have their registration costs refunded.
  • Free membership to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) for the winners and runner-ups
  • £200 for the best display at the Big Bang Fair: All shortlisted finalists will be invited to showcase their entries at the Big Bang Fair and £200 will be awarded to the best exhibition and project explanation on the day.

More information:

Talent 2030

Talent 2030 Website

To arrange for comment and press enquires, please contact the NCUB Press Office