APM Wessex Branch - Student of the Year and Young Project Manager of the Year Awards 2019

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The six selected finalists, their supporters and an invited audience gathered in the Bubbles Champagne Suite at the Vitality Stadium, the home of AFC Bournemouth, on 21 March 2019, for the final act in this year’s awards process. Each finalist was to give their individual presentations to the panel of judges and an attentive room of guests.

Elizabeth Russell, APM Wessex branch chair, welcomed everyone to the evening, and after some details of upcoming Wessex Branch events introduced Rose Maher, a former Wessex Branch APM Challenge winner, and Jed Gorka, a recent addition to the Wessex Branch Committee, who then gave their presentation “First Steps into Project Management”. They have both recently completed MSc in Project Management, and the presentation covered their experiences, insights and tips as they have moved from the world of studying into the beginning of their working careers.

Dave Corbin, an APM Wessex branch committee member then took over as host and introduced the finalists of both competitions. The judges looked on as they each went through their presentations. Dave kept an eye on the stopwatch as each presentation was due to last the allocated 10 minutes.

Presentations by Student of the Year Finalists

David Kenward (pictured right) from Bournemouth University covered the project he delivered during his placement at NATS. Air Traffic Controller Utilisation looked at ways to improve the efficiency of operations. David explained how he used the APM Book of Knowledge and Lean Six Sigma techniques to devise and deliver his project.

Louis Gatrell from Bournemouth University presented his project to deliver a redesigned campus map. Louis went through the objectives of his project and how he used Planning, Communication and Monitor and Control elements of Project Management to execute his activities. Finally, some lessons learnt on things to do differently were described.

Rosalind Manning also from Bournemouth University presented on her project to deliver a stage performance of “A murder at…” and to provide more opportunities for aspiring actors at Bournemouth University. Rosalind covered the stakeholders she engaged with, finances of the project and also included a short clip of the production.

Presentations by Young Project Manager of the Year Finalists

Charlie Griffiths (pictured right) from Leonardo presented on his project, IR Detector Development, which delivered technical parts to his Aerospace industry customers. Charlie covered a summary of the 32-month project and the results, benefits, innovations and lessons that were learnt. He also descried some personal lessons that he identified along the way.

Lucy Nelms from WYG described her role in the project Crossrail – Canary Wharf Station Asset Inventory. Lucy described how she adjusted a mix of PRINCE2 and PMI methodologies to a more agile approach which better suited the project and her stakeholders. She went through the tools that were used on daily basis and gave a summary of the lessons learnt on the project.

Joseph Somers from Cobham explained his project to the audience, delivering antennas to a next generation jet fighter platform. The project was covered from before the contract was awarded to customer design review. Joseph covered project initiation, techniques used and the organisation structure. A focus on Change and Risk Management was required for the project, and how these processes were put in place were detailed.

Whilst the finalists and guests enjoyed some refreshments the judging panel went to deliberate on the presentations they had seen, adding the scores from the evening to the scores gained during the written stage, before taking the stage to announce the winners.


The winner of the Student of the Year was announced as David Kenward and the winner of the Young Project Manager of the Year was Charlie Griffiths.

Both finalists received their awards from Miles Shepard, a former Chair of the Wessex branch and current Vice President of the APM. Miles thanked all the finalists and commented that he was pleased to see a high level of achievement in all the young people who had presented during the evening.

We are very grateful to WYG for sponsoring this year’s Student of the Year Award.  WYG is an award-winning professional services firm driven by client service and underpinned by technical excellence, helping their clients create value, protect value, and manage risk. www.wyg.com 

Many thanks to Elizabeth Russell, Richard Scott, Joe McNeil, Serkan Ceylan, Gemma Parker and Dave Corbin for giving up their time to judge this year’s awards.

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Posted on 11th Apr 2019
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