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Everything you need to know about the Telegraph STEM Awards 2019

The Telegraph STEM Awards 2019 is a unique opportunity for the UK’s most talented undergraduates to present world-changing ideas to some of the leading names in British industry – and potentially win £25,000 and a bespoke mentoring programme.

Now in its fifth year, the awards were set up to recognize the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics - and the students who study them.

The STEM Awards is formed of challenges in key STEM sectors, set in partnership with leading employers in these sectors. To enter, students need to come up with a solution to one of the challenges, and enter it before the closing date of Monday 18 February 2019.

Our industry partners judge the entries for their sector, and our overall STEM Awards partner Babcock International help us and other experts pick the overall winner.

On this page you can find out what all the challenges are and by searching around the STEM site you will find features with some of our partners discussing their challenges, plus interviews with previous winners.

The STEM 2019 Challenges

Defence Technology

Sponsored by BAE Systems

The challenge: How would the armed forces of tomorrow stay connected in the future and what equipment would they need? We are all becoming much more interconnected, much of our technology and personal equipment knows what its status is all the time and communicates with other assets and people. Taking this trend forward a few years, how would armed forces personnel interact with their equipment, would they even be needed in the same way? Would the armed forces even actually be “there”?


Sponsored by Rolls-Royce

The challenge: When machines become powered by electricity and not fossil fuels, heat reduction becomes a big issue, especially at scale. We want to hear new ideas for thermal heat management of electric-powered machines (and turbines that produce electricity) that reduce their weight and footprint when compared with existing solutions.


Sponsored by Semta

The challenge: The UK has 71 industrial robots per 10,000 workers, which means we lag behind competitors such as Germany, Japan and China and are below the global average (74 robots per 10,000 workers). Increasing the use of industrial robots is a key driver of increasing productivity and would help to ensure UK industry remains competitive in a post-Brexit world.

Your challenge is to demonstrate how robotics could be used to make an industrial process more efficient. You should consider the wider productivity gains your innovation would realise, and the wider application of your innovation.


Sponsored by GSK

The challenge: The World Health Organisation has outlined 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to improve people’s global wellbeing. SDG 3 is aiming to end the epidemics of tuberculosis, malaria and neglected tropical diseases by 2030. GSK is actively involved in tackling these diseases by developing new vaccines and medicines for treatment and prevention. How can science, engineering and technology be leveraged to help us achieve this broad and ambitious goal? You should consider the environments and available resources in the settings most affected by these diseases, and the main obstacles that stem from them.

There are many opportunities to consider: will you choose to focus on one disease or seek synergies across multiple disease areas? Will you target a specific country or region, or aim for a global impact? Where will your emphasis lie - prevention, cure, diagnosis, health system strengthening, or bioinformatics? The best solutions will tie in with existing strategies and focus on areas that tie in with GSK's mission to help people do more, feel better, live longer.

Automotive Technology

Sponsored by McLaren

The challenge: Using lightweight materials like carbon fibre brings important efficiency benefits to all vehicles, not only sportscars and supercars. At our new £50m McLaren Composites Technology Centre in the Sheffield region, McLaren Automotive is at the forefront of developing the new carbon fibre technologies of the future to achieve higher levels of performance and efficiency.

What new products or processes do you think could be used to achieve weight benefits for a high performance sportscar that could also have the potential to be developed for wider use in the future? (Read the full challenge here)

Enter the STEM Awards 2019

The Telegraph STEM Awards offer undergraduates the chance to prove their talent to some of the biggest names in industry. Take a look at the challenges from our industry sponsors and submit an idea to solve one of them. If your idea is chosen as the winner, you could win a career-defining work-experience programme and £25,000.

To enter the 2019 Telegraph STEM Awards visit