In the Spirit of Brunel ; THE INDEPENDENT/BOSCH TECHNOLOGY HORIZONS AWARD ++ What's Your Vision of the Next Big Technological Change? the Winners of Our Competition Have Their Say

Article excerpt

In March, The Independent, Bosch and The Royal Academy of Engineering launched the Technology Horizons Award, offering students aged 14 to 24 the chance to have their articles printed in The Independent - and to win cash prizes of up to [pound]1,000.

The 200th anniversary of the birth of Isambard Kingdom Brunel was in April 2006. Brunel's contribution to engineering and technology during the industrial revolution in 19th-century Britain shaped much of the way we live our lives today, and he continues to inspire. The competition asked: "What is your vision of the next technological revolution?"

There were two age categories, 14 to 18 and 19 to 24. Students in the first category were asked to write a 500-word article and the older students 750 words. There were prizes for the schools with the greatest number of entrants.

The Royal Academy of Engineering said: "Technology is increasingly important to modern living. Young people must take a critical look at emerging technologies if they are to make informed decisions on the ad-vantages and disadvantages. For many entrants, this competition will be the first step towards a deeper engagement with technology and engineering."

The entries were judged in July, and culminated in an awards ceremony, hosted by Johnny Ball. Speakers included Andy Cowell, chief engineer in engine development for the Mercedes McLaren Team. November will see the launch of the second competition, on the theme "Ecology and Technology, how can modern technologies protect the environment?"

The winners of the Technology Horizons Award competition are:

Aged 14-18: 1st:

Sophie Walker, Charterhouse School, Godalming 2nd: Christopher Byrne Runners-up: Hayley Bonner; Kelly Brendel; Chloe Jane Cotgrove; Ethan Fowler; Daniel Janes

Aged 19-24: 1st:

Sang Nguyen, St John's College, Cambridge 2nd: James Horton Runners-up: Nina Fowler; Elizabeth James; Naaila Khan; Matthew Linares; Dan Lockton.

Winning schools: Bodedern School, Anglesey; Warriner School, Banbury

Winning essay 14-18 age group

In so many ways our own Brave New World is poised on the edge of an abyss. The Daily Shriek trumpets climate change, the miseries of Aids and TB, globalisa-tion, bio-warfare, twin-tower terrorism, the yellow peril of China, population explosion and - much worse - the end of cheap four-star. Surely, all is lost.

I can't help smiling. In my mind's eye I see Isambard Kingdom Brunel in his big hat. …