Jul 2024

Rising Stars in Gas: Highlights from the 2024 YPPC

YPPC finalists 2024

In June, ten of tomorrow's engineers competed at IGEM House. They were competing for the chance to win a prize and trophy at this year's YPPC event.

Each finalist had previously won their Section’s YPPC heat in the lead-up to the final.

IGEM CEO Oliver Lancaster kicked off proceedings by welcoming finalists and attendees.

He said: “It’s the day of the year I look forward to the most, we get to hear about the exciting things our young members are up to. It’s a great experience to grow and develop in your role and for your future development.”

Host Harriet Guiry, YPN Chair and Operational Strategy Engineer for National Gas, explained the schedule and introduced the judges.

Joining this year’s judging panel was Head of judges David Tomkin, IGEM President, Andrew Musgrave, Head of Engineering and Network Strategy at SGN, Dr. Bridget Hartley, Regional System Planner Senior Manager at National Grid ESO and Claire McHugh, Head of Membership Services at IGEM.

First to take the stage was Jeff Yeung, Assistant Engineer from The Hong Kong & China Gas Co Ltd from and the runner-up from the Far East District Section heat.

He presented his project on Revolutionizing Gas Pipelines Safety: AI-Driven Strategies for Third-Party Damage Prevention.

Jeff highlighted the prospects and challenges of adopting AI technologies for use on pipelines.

Next was Dan Burdett, Senior CFD Engineer at Oxford Flow and winner of the North West Section heat, with his presentation on Simulating Sulphur Deposition in Gas Transmission Valves.

He gave an explanation on a new tool to help understand how valves/regulators will perform when exposed to sulphur.

Then the room heard from Max Koronka, Project Engineer at SGN and winner of the Scottish Section heat, with his presentation on LTS Futures: Hydrogen Transmission.

Max gave a detailed description of the key attributes of the project, the programme of work completed and the next steps to take.

It was then time a short refreshment break before moving onto the next session.

Presenting next was Nathan Isaac, Network Services Craftsman at Wales & West Utilities, winner of the Welsh Section heat, with his presentation on Nivaguard.

He said: “The aim of this project is to decrease cost whilst increasing reliability of vent caps for use on pressure reduction installations.”

Then we heard from Phillip Shortt, Gas Transmission Operations Engineer from Mutual Energy and winner of the Irish Section heat.

His presentation was entitled Innovation in Practice – First onshore UK application of latest flow stop technology.

Phillip explained one of the key learnings from the project: “I think if there’s a better way of doing something, let’s explore it and find out what we can do.”

Next was Annabel Brown, Mechanical Engineer at Arup and winner of the London, Southern and Eastern Section heat. Her presentation looked at the Hydrogen Heating Network.

She explained that the main scope of the project was to look at domestic heating and a multi-criteria assessment was used to assess the deliverability of the components.

Last in this session to present was Temitayo Solanke, winner of the North East and Yorkshire Section heat.

His project was entitled CFD investigation of hydrogen diffusion in pre-existing natural gas pipeline.

He gave insights into hydrogen pipelines, sharing the ease of using existing natural gas pipelines compared to installing new for hydrogen use.

Attendees then broke for lunch and networking before continuing in the third and final session.

With the third session then underway, Eason Lau, Assistant Engineer at The Hong Kong & China Gas Co Ltd and the Far East District Section heat winner took to the stage.

Eason’s project looked at Beyond Carbon Footprints: Exploring Effective Approaches to Pre-Emission Reduction in New Gas Engineering Projects

He described that: “The main function of our project is to liquefy natural gas into LNG for storage and loading for transportation.”

Next up was Daniel Mee, Principal Integrity Engineer at Cadent and winner of the Midlands Section heat, with his presentation on Building a safer future: Gas safety.

He gave an overview of the works ongoing at Cadent on unsafe situations surrounding built over pipelines and called to government and policymakers for an enforcement model on unsafe situations.

Last to present was Callum Coleman, Mechanical Engineering Apprentice from Saith and winner of the South West Section heat, with his presentation on Kiltotan – The Design and Supply of Skids to Ireland.

Describing the different phases yet to complete on the project, he said: “This is just the beginning, we have a lot more stages to progress. This includes fabrication, testing, assembly, FAT, shipping and commissioning.”

Once the finalists had finished presenting, it was time for a short break while the judges deliberated on who should be crowned victorious.

After a tough decision, the judges crowned Phillip Shortt from our Irish Section the winner. The said that Phillip’s presentation excelled and wowed them with his direct involvement with the project.

The judges chose Eason Lau from the Far East District Section for second place and Daniel Mee from the Midlands Section for third place.

The 2024 YPPC final showcased the talent and innovation of young engineers. They demonstrated their ability to transform the gas industry. 

Thank you to all finalists for entering. Congratulations to Phillip for winning the 2024 YPPC Final. Thanks to the judges, attendees, and sponsors Cadent, National Gas, Northern Gas Networks, SGN, and Wales & West Utilities for their support.

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