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Student’s trophy design selected for this year’s Offshore Achievement Awards

From left: Pete Baker from TAQA, Ian Phillips from SPE and Rachel Mackay, competition winner.
From left: Pete Baker from TAQA, Ian Phillips from SPE and Rachel Mackay, competition winner.

With just over two weeks left until entries close for the 2020 Offshore Achievement Awards, the design for this year’s trophy has been chosen following a competition amongst 3D Design students at Robert Gordon University (RGU).

Sixteen students from Gray’s School of Art presented their concepts for this year’s trophy to a panel of 8 judges, and after a rigorous judging process, Rachel Mackay was selected as the 2020 winner.

The competition – a collaboration between the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Aberdeen, principal awards sponsor TAQA and RGU – is a hotly contested part of each year’s awards. As well as helping students to build on their portfolio as part of their curriculum, the winner also sees their design brought to life as a prestigious accolade presented to category winners at the black-tie awards dinner.

This year’s winner, Rachel, centred her design on technology and innovation and took inspiration from Philippe Starck’s A.I. chair. Debuted this year, the chair uses generative design and is the first of its kind to use artificial intelligence alongside human beings – an approach already being extensively developed and trialled in the offshore energy industry. The concept highlights how quickly technology and innovation are advancing and how this can help support such a large, multi-faceted industry.

Ian Phillips, chairman of the OAA organising committee said: “Once again, we have seen outstanding levels of creativity and innovation in the Gray’s School of Art students. Year on year, the calibre of the thinking and the prototypes we see just gets better and better.

“This year’s judging was particularly difficult and there were several concepts which stood out. Rachel design, however, was well thought out and reflective of the future of the offshore industry. This year’s winners will be taking home a unique and outstanding trophy.”

Operational safety technical authority at TAQA, Pete Baker, said: “The trophy competition is a great opportunity to bring together education and industry and to allow the students to dip their toes in the real world of work.  It’s been amazing to follow the design process with the students, from the initial ideas and finally seeing them come to fruition.  This year again the students excelled themselves and despite it being a very difficult decision for the judges, Rachel’s design is a well-deserved winner.”

Winner Rachel said: “I was delighted to be named the winner of this year’s competition and can’t wait to attend the awards to see my design being presented. This will be a fantastic experience for me as a designer and I am really looking forward to it. The concepts selected over the last eight years are all very different, but very memorable, and it’s really exciting that mine will be added to the line-up.”

Entries for the Offshore Achievement Awards close on the 8 November, 2019 with the ceremony taking place on the 19 March, 2020 at the P&J Live, Aberdeen. Submissions are welcome from both individuals and companies based within the UK, operating offshore in the oil and gas and renewable sectors.


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