Three talented Mathematics students Garinder Shankrowalia, Iain Sharp and John Ellis from the University of Birmingham led team UoB3 to victory in the Npower Forecasting Challenge. Winners were announced on Monday 23 March 2015.

The Npower Forecasting Challenge is a brand new competition, challenging students of Britain to predict what Npower customers’ power usage will be, based on weather data. In order to forecast accurately, teams were encouraged to use state of the art industry weather data to create a model of the energy demand for customers.

Team UoB3 had 2 weeks to formulate their models and make their first set of predictions. They also had access to software provided by SAS, the global leader in business analytics. SAS' technology allows companies like NPower to help foresee and effectively prepare for changes in supply and demand for better business success.


UoB3, along with four other finalists were invited to Npower’s Solihull office for a formal presentation in front of four judges. UoB3 ensured the University of Birmingham came out on top and were chosen by a panel of experts as the winners, and were offered summer internships as well as a £500 cash prize.

Michael Grove, Director of STEM Education Centre at the University of Birmingham, said:

At Birmingham we have enhanced our curriculum to ensure our undergraduates are well prepared to tackle challenging and unfamiliar problems that are truly representative of what they will experience in the workplace. We are therefore truly delighted that Garinder, Iain and John have been successful in this highly competitive NPower challenge and this is just a reward for all of their hard work and dedication. It is a great success for both themselves and our undergraduate mathematics programme here at the University.

John Ellis, MSci Mathematics, said: 

"It was such a great experience and to win was unbelievable! There was a lot of strong competition, especially in the final, so we’re all very happy with our achievements."

Garinder Shankowalia, MSci Mathematics, said: 

"Winning the Npower Forecasting Challenge was such an amazing experience. I feel so proud of myself and my fellow team members. I’m even more excited for the summer now!"

Iain Sharp, BSc Mathematics, said: 

"When our team were announced as the winners, I was so happy that all of our hard work had paid off. I’m looking forward to the internship and really proud of our success."