January 19, 2018, by The Ingenuity Lab

Mentors30 Competition: Calling all engineers

Mentor30Engineers was set up by Sainsbury Management Fellows, the charity that enables engineers to augment engineering qualifications and experience with essential business skills. SMF does this by annually awarding £300,000 in MBA scholarships towards the cost of studying at top business schools including INSEAD, Stanford, Wharton, Harvard and LBS.

This new competition marks 30 years of the Sainsbury Management Fellowship. Winners of Mentor30Engineers prizes will benefit from the SMFs’ wealth of experience, knowledge, contacts and gain valuable support with career/ entrepreneurship ambitions.


Mentor30Engineers is a new competition inviting young engineers to come up with a creative, imaginative and inspiring idea that tackles a problem in society.  It invites students and graduate engineers to stretch their minds and come up with a solution to some of the biggest challenges facing society today – the aim is to stimulate thinking beyond app solutions that tend to dominate business competitions.

Thirty high-level business leaders are offering career and entrepreneurial mentoring to student and graduate engineers. Mentoring prizes are available for 30 winners:

  • 15 student engineers
  • 15 graduate engineers.

The competition is open now to UK-based engineering undergraduates and engineering graduates who have qualified in the last three years and entries must be submitted by 27 February 2018

Each winner will receive a certificate, 900 hours of mentoring and will be invited to the SMF Annual Dinner in May 2018.


Entrants must choose only ONE topic (or topic sub-set), then develop the idea and produce a typed essay outlining the problem and the idea/solution. The essay must not exceed 1,000 words. Within the essay, entrants must cover the following:

  • The problem being tackled
  • The idea/solution/how it might work
  • How it might benefit society
  • Show how an engineering skill has been applied in the thinking

The Topics

  1. How do we solve problems facing the NHS? Choose only one sub-topic:

  • Tackling/reducing hospital waiting times
  • Improving bed blocking/lack of hospital beds
  • Reducing inequality of services/care across the UK
  • Dealing with staff shortages in the NHS
  1. How should we, as a society, meet the care needs of an ageing population?

  2. How do we protect the environment for the future – entrants can choose any element they wish to explore, for example, one of the following areas

  • air pollution and reducing the speed of climate change
  • the rising population creating an ever growing need
  • greening cities
  • deforestation
  • soil degradation
  • food wastage and supply chain optimisation

This Guardian newspaper article “The key questions at the heart of the UK’s environmental future” may be helpful to applicants who choose this category.

  1. Financial management/well-being

  • How should government/regulators meet their obligation to educate the public on financial management so that members of the public budget for their needs over their lifetime?
  1. How can government/regulators ensure that major corporations pay their fair share of taxes?


Submissions must be typed and the word count added at the top of the essay with the applicant’s name, degree/degree course, and name of university. At the end of the essay, entrants must state how they would use a mentoring prize (e.g. career/new business innovation/entrepreneurship).

The entry must be emailed to mentor30engineers@smf.org.uk and can be submitted at any time up to and including 27th February 2018. Entrants are not required to cost their idea, but to treat their entry as blue-sky thinking. They are not required to back up their idea with in-depth research.

If entrants have any questions about the competition or their submission, they can email mentor30engineers@smf.org.uk

Posted in Competition