The winning PGR student Consultancy Challenge team with representatives from the SOTI business technology company
Members of the winning team of postgraduate research students with representatives from SOTI

In March and April 2019, postgraduate research students from across the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences took part in a 'consultancy challenge' to gain valuable experience of working as a technology consultant.

The event was supported by SOTI, a Canadian business technology company. Students were assigned roles as consultants for the firm and tasked with working in small teams made up of students from different research specialism. Each team worked on developing their solution to a real-life business challenge of using facial recognition authentication to access mobile applications.

The highlight of the competition was a 'Dragons Den' style session that took place on 16th April, where the students pitched their proposed solutions to a panel of experts that included SOTI's Managing Director (Nordics, France, Benelux) Stefan Spendrup. All the teams presented very well informed and impressive pitches to the judging panel and it was a very close match between the winners and runners-up.

Congratulations go to research students Orla Conway (Chemistry) Aawishkar Dharmadhikari and Harith Jayakody (Mechanical Engineering);Abiola Oladeji (Chemical Engineering); and Kristianto Usman (Civil Engineering), who won the competition. The winning team have all been offered 6 month paid work placements at SOTI's head office in Canada. They will also receive introductions to, and recruitment advice, from the Solihull office.

The event was organised by Katie Hoare, the University's Postgraduate Research Entrepreneurship Development Officer, and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Graduate School, and was made possible thanks to support from SOTI.