VIP judges announced for the 2019 Big Bang Competition Finals

With over half of Big Bang Competition finalists now confirmed for the Finals at The Big Bang Fair in March next year, we are excited to announce the 2019 VIP judging panels for science and engineering!

With their diversity of backgrounds and areas of expertise, the VIP panels take part in the final round of judging, taking place on Thursday 14 March 2019.

In a ‘Dragons-Den’ style interview, the panels will interview exceptional students from across our Junior, Intermediate and Senior categories, to decide the winners and runners up of the award of either the GSK UK Young Scientist or the GSK UK Young Engineer of the Year 2019.

On our Engineering panel for this year, we have Shawn Brown, design technologist and co-founder of YouTube channel Kids Invent Stuff.

Shawn entered the Big Bang Competition himself back in 2010 and went on to win the coveted title of UK Young Engineer of the Year with his project entitled ‘'Solar Bike'; a bamboo framed electric trike, which was made using sustainable and reusable material.

"A big part of engineering and science is all about messing stuff up and learning from your mistakes"

Shawn since went on to obtain two Master’s degrees, one in Energy Engineering and one in Sustainable Design, and his latest project Kids Invent Stuff, co-founded with a fellow Competition winner, Ruth Amos, sees him build creative inventions all designed and dreamed up by young people!

Shawn is delighted to be returning to the Competition to sit on the panel and offered the following advice to students taking part: A big part of engineering and science is all about messing stuff up and learning from your mistakes, so my advice for those taking part in the Competition is not to be scared of talking about what went wrong with your project or getting nervous and saying what seems like silly things (we all do it!).

"The mistakes engineers make help us deliver awesome projects more effectively in the future, and they're the things that will have ultimately made you the world's leading expert in your own project!

On our Science panel, we are pleased to welcome Huw James, a science presenter and adventurer. Huw is excited to be attending for the first time on the VIP judges panel and said, “I am really excited to be judging at The Big Bang Competition Finals this year; the projects are always inspirational and innovative. I can’t wait to see what the finalists have to offer!”

Huw will be joined by Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon, Head Stemette & co-founder of STEMettes, Bobby Seagull, TV personality, author and teacher, Karen Mullen, Vice President & Country Medical Director, UK & Ireland, GSK and Imogen Napper, Marine Scientist and National Geographic Explorer.

Since its inception 5 years ago, STEMettes has exposed more than 38,500 young people across Europe to a vision for a more diverse and balanced science and tech community. 

Commenting on her involvement on the panel for 2019, Anne-Marie said: “I'm looking forward to being a part of the judging for the Big Bang Competition because I'm always excited to see the creative ideas that young minds come up with. It's like looking into the future, and gives me hope in our nation's capacity for innovation.

For those finalists attending in March, good luck! Don't forget to check out our top tips for judging and how to prepare...

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