Richard Craig, a Research Engineer at the University’s Industrial Doctoral Centre in Systems, has been awarded first prize in the inaugural UK Council for Graduate Education (UKCGE) BIG 2014 Image competition.
The judges deemed Craig’s abstract image, ‘Hidden threats’, an outstanding demonstration of the ‘precision, detail and complexity’ of postgraduate education.
Craig, an EPSRC-funded doctoral student based within Boeing, uses the image to engage with the public and explain his postgraduate research. He originally created it as part of Bristol’s See No Evil street art project, during which a group of postgraduate science and engineering students from the University attempted to translate the themes and ideas behind their research through street art.
Craig used the opportunity to communicate the ‘hidden threats’ facing us, as individuals and organisations, from the internet, and to explore why we are so dependent on it. His research aims to better understand activity within the information environment as a system, and to identify points of intervention to improve ‘whole system’ behaviour.
Using just a board and a selection of spray paints to create the image in the first instance, Craig set out to portray ‘a dynamic, energetic environment that also had an ominous feeling’.
The image was judged by the UKCGE panel to successfully communicate ‘patterns that are not immediately apparent’. The judges appreciated the image’s ‘openness to interpretation’ that also reflected the pathway of postgraduate education, and the suggestion of networks and connections that are so important throughout postgraduate development. All three judges added that the image exhibited a richness of data that was rare among the other entries.