Early Careers Challenge 

GE and Mott MacDonald are delighted to announce the 2024 Early Careers Challenge

Last year’s Early Careers Challenge was a resounding success. It exceeded our aims to deepen existing links with the wider industry and academia. This year, we have developed the challenge to focus on the major role our ground engineers play in the sustainability race to deliver the net zero transformation. It’s a key challenge for our industry. Achieving and demonstrating new developments are sustainable is a requirement for project legacies.

Our 2024 Early Career Challenge will show the teams that their talents and efforts will be making a difference for the future.

Registration deadline: 16 June 2024

The Challenge

Design a deep underground shaft in a prestigious historical waterfront setting in the UK

It will be run as a challenge – with a problem to solve.

It’s not going to be straightforward – and there are many potential solutions!

It will require the Teams to consider the site setting and adapt to Client requirements. Teams will have to draw on case studies, industry lessons learnt, use every research opportunity available and apply them to modern standards. Teams should aim to use digital tools to prove long-term sustainable goals to their scheme.

The teams will be asked to present for 15 minutes and will be assessed by a panel of industry judges at the two GE conferences. They will be judged on their approach to solving the challenge by consideration of different options and assessing them in terms of construction cost, program, risk and suitability, team working and collaboration, and sustainable solutions.


Who can enter?

  • A civil engineering or geology undergraduate or postgraduate student
  • Early careers professional or apprentice with less than 5 years’ experience in the industry

The Challenge will only be available for individuals working in the UK

What's involved?

Applications are for individuals only, as teams will be created once the registration process closes. Potential challenge applicants will need to be able to attend all aspects of the Challenge: 

  • Launch meeting – discover the full challenge and meet your team and mentor
  • Mentor calls – teams will be invited to a catch-up call with the mentor during this period ahead of their first presentation
  • GE Sustainability – teams will pitch the Round 1 judges and get feedback on their ideas
  • GE Smart Geotechnics – team will give their final pitch to Round 2 judges, with the winning team presenting on the conference stage

From start to finish the challenge will take a little over two months. Applicants will be required to attend (in-person) the kick off workshop (26th July), GE Sustainability conference (18th September), and GE Smart geotechnics conference (3rd October). It is anticipated that three further days will be required to complete the challenge and create their 15 min presentation. Each team will gain feedback on their presentation by their mentor before their first presentation at the GE Sustainability conference, where they will also gain feedback from the judges, before they present their final solution to the judges at the GE Smart geotechnics conference.


Key dates:
Registration deadline
Launch meeting
GE Sustainability conference
GE Smart Geotechnics conference

Why enter

Put your ideas to industry leading judges, grow your own network and learn from sector expertise

Be mentored throughout the process by Mott MacDonald experts

Gain complementary access to attend all of the 2023 GE conferences

Have your ideas and work published in the prestigious Ground Engineering Magazine if part of the winning team

Receive recognition within the industry and gain experience for your CV

Have a chance to win the Early Careers Challenge trophy

Hear what 2023 mentors said about the challenge: