Andrew Tarpey wins Young Person’s World Lecture Competition

22 Jun 2006
Andrew Tarpey

An engineer from the UK has won the World Young Person’s Lecture Competition, held on 20th June. Andrew Tarpey works for Jaguar Cars Ltd and beat off competition from four other candidates. The event is run by the Younger Members’ Committee (YMC) of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3) to bring together material scientists and engineers from around the world. Following the success of the first competition run in 2005, this year’s event was again sponsored by Rolls-Royce plc.

Tarpey competed alongside the national finalists from South Africa, Ireland, Singapore and the USA. The competition is open to members under 35 and provides an excellent opportunity for communication and presentation skills to be developed in a competitive environment. The contestants relished the opportunity to visit London, some for the first time, and were keen to convey their excitement at being able to meet scientists and engineers from different cultures. ‘It is interesting to see the different approaches, and what’s available to them at their universities’, said Eoin Cunningham, the Irish competitor.

Tarpey spoke about the use of structural adhesive to improve fuel economy by reducing the weight of vehicles. He is no stranger to competing in competitions, having won the UK Young Persons’ Lecture Competition both this year and in 2001. His topic was clearly conveyed and confidently presented. Indeed, the judges praised his strong standard of presentation, coupled with good visuals. ‘I did not expect this,’ said Tarpey, ‘Now it’s time to retire!’. Tarpey received a cheque for a thousand pounds and a commemorative globe.

Runners up and judges

Taking second place was Sarah Galatioto from the USA who gave an enthused speech on the application of nanotechnology to surgical masks, looking at how to reduce the level of bacteria which pass through traditional masks. Eoin Cunningham of Queen’s University, Belfast, took third place for his lecture on the use of algae to mimic cancellous bone.

The panel of judges was chaired by Dr Richard Dolby, President of the Institute, with Dr David Carey from the YMC and Dr Mike Hicks of Rolls-Royce plc also putting questions to the finalists. Dolby spoke of the ‘assured way’ the contestants delivered their presentations with ‘superb confidence’.

As Dolby commented, the World Lecture Competition is a ‘great opportunity for participants to improve their presentation skills, something which will serve them well in their careers, whichever discipline they choose’. The challenge for the coming years is to enable more countries to participate, while, as Dr Bernie Rickinson, Chief Executive of the IOM3 comments, the event must continue to ‘engage, enthuse and entertain’ both participants and the audience.

Notes for editors

The World Young Persons’ Lecture Competition is an initiative of the Institute’s Younger Members’ Committee, and is a development of the Institute’s UK Young Persons’ Lecture Competition. A quarter of the Institute’s 22,000 members reside outside the UK, and the global competition is a means of involving non-UK younger members in such an event.

Full details of the WLC competitors and their abstracts.

For further enquiries relating to the World Lecture Competition, contact Dr Brett Suddell, email:

Rolls-Royce plc operates in long-term businesses, and relies heavily on innovation to ensure that future generations of products contain the leading edge technologies required to make them market leaders in terms of performance, reliability and life-cycle cost. The company invests in technology and capability that can be exploited in this way. It acquires technologies through its co-ordinated ‘Vision’ programme that is designed to address real business requirements and, wherever possible, find application across more than one business sector.