The Building Society recently hosted Elliott Wood’s Graduate Day, in which engineering graduates are given a problem or brief to discuss, design and present their outcomes.

This year we did things a little differently. Rather than the normal engineering challenges, we based the brief around the recently published ETHICS Manifesto, and how a career in engineering can change society for the better.

Using the City of Sunderland as a backdrop, we challenged them to come up with proposals that would make the city amazing and a desirable city to live, work and visit.

We broke the group into two teams, both using a common thread but with different perspectives. The first team looked at it from the viewpoint of locals. The second team from the viewpoint of an outsider.

With a twenty-minute presentation to the directors, the graduate groups came up with some interesting and fascinating ideas. The main outcome from both, however, was for an innovation hub, designed for short life, to allow ideas to be tested and see what works before introducing more permanent solutions – giving people a say in how the community develops.