Prestigious engineering medal awarded to University of Hull student for second successive year

Editor’s note: This article was originally published by the University of Hull.

Brian Houston, 28, whose research has included work for Siemens, has been selected as this year’s recipient of the Smeatonian Society of Civil Engineers Medal.

The award, by the prestigious Smeatonian Society, is only awarded once per year to a final-year student or young researcher.

It is the second year running a University of Hull student has won the award, after Mechanical Engineering student Adam Stephenson was chosen by the society to receive the medal last year.

Brian said:

“I was ecstatic just to find out that I had been nominated, so to find out I had won came as a bit of a shock, but a great honour. To be the second student in successive years from the University to win this accolade is truly a testament to the great work that is going on here in Hull.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the University and whilst here I have seen the School of Engineering go from strength to strength. The available resources and facilities here within the University are ever-increasing and with Hull being awarded the City of Culture for 2017, the investments and opportunities within the area are vast. It really is an exciting place to be currently.”

Brian has been studying at the University for eight years, firstly working for a Masters in Mechanical Engineering, before undertaking his PhD in the same subject.

As well as his PhD, which has focussed on working with industry giant Siemens on developing technology for gas turbines to dampen vibrations, Brian has also been heavily involved with volunteering activities in the area such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) and the University’s Formula Student team.

Formula Student is the biggest student engineering competition of its kind in the world, where teams from universities across the globe compete to design and build a single seat race car. In July each year around 120 Universities and approximately 3,000 students converge at Silverstone to demonstrate their engineering capabilities.

Brian said:

“Formula Student is an amazing project and something I had always wanted to be part of.

“When I first came to Hull, the University wasn’t involved with Formula Student. However, in 2010, we managed to get a team together and along with the support of some industry sponsors and the University we competed for the first time, since then I have been championing the project at Hull.

“The project is very demanding but the experiences that can be gained from it are invaluable. As an engineer and a keen motorsport fan, I feel privileged to have been able to drive a car that has been entirely designed and built by myself and other students at the University, on the infamous Silverstone circuit.”

Brian will go to the Williams F1 site in Oxfordshire on Wednesday (October 28) to receive the medal. He will be joined by Professor Jim Gilbert, acting head of the School of Engineering, who nominated Brian for the medal. Both will be given a tour of the site, as well as the Williams F1 museum.

Brian said:

“They pick a different venue each year to award the medal and personally I am over the moon that this year they chose the venue to be the home of the Williams F1 Team.”

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