27 February 2020

Tomorrow's timber talent announced

TRADA image

Six talented students scooped first prize for their design at the TRADA University Challenge 2020. Kyle Crossley from Leeds Beckett, Ryan Jessop from the University of Hertfordshire, Aslinn Aijian Zha from Cardiff University, Kai Yusaf Chelliah from the University of Bristol, Kat Cookes from the University of Gloucestershire and Aaron Shaw from Sheffield Hallam overcame nine rival teams to win a cash prize and walk away winners.


The competition, which took place 17–19 February, saw 58 students from universities across the UK gather at Cardiff University and compete to design, cost and engineer the best low-carbon, energy and water efficient timber community housing in less than 48 hours.


Each team consisted of student engineers, architects, architectural technologists, quantity surveyors and landscape architects, and received hands-on support from pioneering design professionals and industry members, including judges from Mikhail Riches, Cullinan Studio, Stride Treglown, Ramboll, BuroHappold, Entuitive, Gardiner & Theobald and PLAN:design.


Tabitha Binding, Manager of the University Engagement Programme at TRADA, said: ‘It is always an honour to organise the annual TRADA University Challenge. Each year I am delighted to witness first-hand the dedication and passion of everyone involved. The judges were amazed at how individuals from different universities and disciplines came together to form cohesive design teams in such a short space of time. Congratulations must be given to the winners and runners-up – their hard work and vision resulted in thoughtful and environmentally friendly timber-based designs. Thanks to our sponsors, supporters, and Cardiff hosts for helping make the TRADA University Challenge 2020 a huge success.’



Find out more about the winners of the University Challenge 2020 



Team 10's winning design. 


Winners: Team 10

Kyle Crossley, Leeds Beckett

Ryan Jessop, University of Hertfordshire

Aslinn Aijian Zha, Cardiff University

Kai Yusaf Chelliah, University of Bristol

Kat Cookes, University of Gloucestershire

Aaron Shaw, Sheffield Hallam

View Team 10's winning design


2nd: Team 9

Daniel Williams, University of Derby

Veniamin Bampilis, De Montfort University

Sophie Whinney, University of Bristol

Christian Elizalde-Rivas, University of Bath

Amy Barley, University of Gloucestershire

Scott Thompson, Northumbria University

View Team 9's design 


3rd: Team 4

Ralf Modolell, University of Bath

Frank Brandon, Cardiff University

Frances James, University of Bristol

Valery Shchukin, Cardiff University

Shudan Yu, University of Gloucestershire

Mark Van Ek, University of South Wales

View Team 4's design 


4th: Team 6

Judith Deak, Cardiff University

James Mosses, Cardiff Metropolitan University

Daniel Hallam, University of Sheffield

Jake Wydrzynski, University of Salford

Alex Crossley, University of Gloucestershire

Elaine Huskinson, University of Salford

View Team 6's design 


Special mention: Team 5

John O'Neill, Sheffield Hallam

Jonny Chapi, University of East London

Raiesha Sardar, University of Bath

Melissa Nanang, University of Gloucestershire



The 2020 competition could not take place without the kind support of major sponsors STEICO and Arnold Laver, sponsor Stora Enso, and supporters PEFC UK, Passivhaus Trust, WTTA and Wood for Good.




If you would like to get involved with future challenges, please get in touch with the University Engagement Manager Tabitha Binding