Cape Town based animated explainer video company, Blink Tower, has won gold in two out of the six categories of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Engineering for You Video Contest, held last month. The NAE competition, held in celebration of NAE’s 50th anniversary, invited participants to submit a one to two minute video showing engineering’s impact on society in the last 50 years, and to project its contributions in the next 50 years.
Chosen as the overall winner of $25,000 from more than 600 videos submitted, Adrian Burger and his Blink Tower team are “absolutely honoured, thrilled and still in somewhat of a state of shock.” Their submission, ‘Engineering Is Amazing!’ also won an additional $5,000 in the General Public category.
Burger says the great challenge of this brief was to make engineering an approachable discipline: one seen as academic, but not aloof; as meticulous, but not tedious; as empirical but not uncaring.
He describes his motivation for entering the initiative, explaining how the competition seemed designed to tempt Blink Tower: “It was an opportunity to make a short, explanatory video that promotes a good cause and champions education and problem solving. We got to do what we love, for a message that we’re highly passionate about.”
Asked if South Africa needs initiatives such as this to encourage our youth to pursue a career in engineering, Burger answer is emphatic: “Critical, critical, critical. Given the other challenges we face it may be easy to see this as a “low-priority” issue, it isn’t at all: cultivating a legend of home-grown local engineers is probably the key component in dealing with those other challenges in the first place.”
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