Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing Group Project Awards returned to an in-person format this year as we took to the Computershare offices on Edinburgh’s St Andrew Square for the annual event.

The teams of six students from the School of Computing stood up to present their work on live briefs to a panel of judges from Computershare.

First prize was claimed by a Virtual Reality Fire Extinguisher Training Game which showcased the complexities of building an interactive experience on a VR headset. Second place went to the Scotch Whisky Cask Project website, and the Forensic Scenario which highlighted the importance of modern cybersecurity took third.

Virtual Reality Fire Extinguisher

The winners of Computershare 2022 were responsible for putting together an interactive virtual reality game which enabled people to be trained on the use of fire extinguishers.Computing group project award winners 2022

The team consisting of students Philip Twaddle, Cameron Lochran, Ryan Scott, Jordan Li, Mikha Rohrs, and Robert Crawford, were tasked with creating an experience which outlined the difference between the five different types of fires people may come across and the fire extinguishers they would need to use for each scenario.

Philip Twaddle said:

“It was really enjoyable working in a group and winning the award feels like friendly recognition of the quality product we all produced. We feel like we have done a good job.

A highlight for me was the first time we actually got our build working on the headset. Having it completely unplugged and seeing how well it performed, especially because we were really concerned that it was going to run poorly, and it ran really quickly so we were absolutely elated at that.”

The judges were evidently impressed by the team’s output as Jon Kidd, Global Chief Information Security Officer of Computershare and one of the judges explained:

“We were really impressed with the amount of work that had gone into the presentation, there was clearly a lot of detail and there was a really good link between the problem and the solution, which impressed us.”


Scotch Whisky Cask Project

The runners up, headed by student Alan Miller, and his team of Geoffrey Clarke, Kelly Hunter, Liam Pidd-Capelleras, Euan Maxwell, and Michal Mizera, were one of two teams bidding for the chance to build a website for investing in Scotch Whisky Casks.

Kelly Hunter explains:

“There was a list of projects on the university’s website that we could participate in and our team was interested in this one. The client got to choose the team they wanted to take their project and I think we won him over when we told him about ourselves and our experiences.Whisky Cask Project

The highlight from the project for me was delivering something that the client loved and seeing his reaction when he was extremely happy.”

Euan Maxwell admitted it wasn’t all smooth sailing:

"We hadn’t done many group projects before so it was pretty tough, and there were times where we would have two people working on the same thing and it would waste a bit of time, but we managed to come together and, overall, it ran pretty smoothly thanks to Alan’s leadership.”


Forensic Scenario

Third place Forensic Scenario was presented by Cybersecurity and Forensics students Sam May and Iain Baird, as they told a story of a man being stalked and the ways in which this can take place. They broke down the use of Apple Airtags as potential stalking devices and the ways in which a stalker could use your personal computer against you.

The pair’s entertaining and informative presentation earned them third spot and Sam was happy with the experience as a whole, Sam said:

“I really enjoyed it personally,Computing student Sam May I think it was a really good experience to have and the learning experience was valuable.

I’ve learned from this project just how easy it was to stalk someone, and it showed me the importance of the industry that we’ve chosen to go into.”


School of Computing

Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing provides its third year students with the opportunity to take part in this yearly event to give them the chance of working on a live brief in their industry. Bringing students together in groups and tasking them with managing a project helps to equip students with a stronger skillset for when they leave university to join the workforce and thus helps set them apart from their peers.

Head of Graduate Apprenticeships and Skills Development at Edinburgh Napier’s School of Computing, Sally Smith, said:Sally Smith talking

“The group project awards were set up to celebrate the significant achievements of students in the School of Computing who are asked to work in groups in their third year. Students gain experience of sharing their work, this is an excellent skill to have, and the award pitches give them confidence for the future.

The success of the awards is getting the students out of the university into a tech workplace setting, sharing what they have achieved. For the company hosting the event, they have a chance to see what Edinburgh Napier students can do: mastering tech, working together!”



Computershare judgesThis is the fourth consecutive year that Australian financial services company, Computershare, has sponsored the event and they have seen it go from strength to strength as each year offers new challenges for the budding computing students.

The Senior Programme Leader with Computershare, Simon Needham, was full of praise for Edinburgh Napier’s students:

"The presentations were great, particularly as we’re bringing them into an unfamiliar environment in front of unfamiliar people and getting them to stand up and do a talk. I think they’ve done fantastically well this year.

The ability to stand up and present is a life skill that’s going to be used for the rest of their working lives, so if they can build confidence in their ability to speak clearly and communicate points to an audience that might not be fully familiar with what they’re talking about then that’s an absolute asset.”

Carlos Leira, Global Chief Technology Officer said:

"I was delighted to be able to welcome the Edinburgh Napier community back into Computershare, especially as this year we were able to do the event face to face in our Edinburgh office. The submissions were all of a very high standard, and it was great to see such a varied set of presentations from a very commited set of participants."