Kenneth Severn Award

The Kenneth Severn Award is the Institution’s annual essay competition. It offers young engineers the chance to produce a thought piece outlining their ideas, solutions and theories in response to a ‘big picture’ question set by the incoming Institution President. It’s a great opportunity to boost your CV and demonstrate your knowledge of the industry.

The winner will receive the prestigious Kenneth Severn Diploma, a £500 cash prize and the chance to be published in The Structural Engineer. Entering this competition can also count towards your CPD - speak with your employer or organisation for more information.

This year’s question, set by incoming 2019 President Joe Kindregan, was:


What additional skills do structural engineers need to develop to answer future
humanitarian challenges?

Engineering has always been about answering humanitarian challenges. This will become ever more relevant as the world population increases towards 10 billion people in the coming decades. What humanitarian challenges will this population increase bring, and what additional skills does the structural engineering profession need to develop to answer these challenges?

The judges look for originality, value to the structural engineering profession and clarity of presentation. 

Deadline Closed
Eligibility Members and non-members of the Institution
Entrants must be 28 years or under on 1 January 2019
The prestigious Kenneth Severn Diploma
A cash prize of £500
The winning paper will also be considered for publication in The Structural Engineer.
Entry format Answers should be in the form of a written paper (max. 1500 words) and may include relevant imagery that supplements the text



About the competition

The Award commemorates Kenneth Severn, President of the Institution from 1972-73, and is supported by the late Mr Severn's family.

Previous award winners

2018 award winner

2017 award winner

  • Amy Cleaves. Read Amy's winning entry in The Structural Engineer
  • Commendations: Alastair Low-Macrae, Matthew Powell and Krishna Prasad Menon.

2016 award winner

  • Robert Jackson. Read Robert’s winning entry in The Structural Engineer
  • Commendations: Richard Boyd and Ronan Carlin.
Find out more...

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