College of Science & Engineering

School of Physics team wins 3rd prize in employability competition

A University of Edinburgh team of physicists came third in the final of the IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide competition, beating a number of business teams from universities across the UK. 

Physics IBM team photo

The IBM Universities Business Challenge (UBC) Worldwide is the world’s longest established undergraduate simulation-based competition designed to develop employability and enterprise skills and starts with 300 teams across the UK.

Facilitated by Susan Bird (Careers Consultant, School of Physics & Astronomy), the School submitted two teams, one team making the semi-final in Edinburgh. After a keynote introduction from Shelagh Green, (Director, Careers Service), the teams did a series of intensive, timed business simulations culminating in a 60 second innovation pitch.

The Physics team – students Imran Marwat (team leader), Fidel Elie, Ziyi Zhang, Adamos Spanashis and Brandon Christman – not only won 2nd place at the semi-final - but also won Best Business Idea on the day, beating 19 teams from other UK universities. 

The Final

The School funded the team’s travel & accommodation expenses to the London final, the team was mentored by Mike Ross from Standard Life Investments & supported by the Careers Service – a good example of how we work with Schools & industry partners to support the employability and professional development of our science students.

In what was a real coup for the School of Physics and the University of Edinburgh, the team went on to win third place in the final gaining a prize of £250 and beating a number of business teams from universities across the UK. 

Thank you for being at the competition and supporting us throughout this experience. I realized studying physics not only made us “book smart” but also taught us critical and logical thinking which can be applied beyond academics. Combined with creativity and hard work, physicists can be successful in any field of our interest. We should all branch out to areas outside of our textbook, and explore our hidden potential.

Ziyi ZhangPhysics team member