An engineering student has won The Guardian’s Journey of the Future competition

Liam Mullen receives first prize – an iPad pro – from Philip Hoare, managing director of Atkins. Pho

Liam Mullen, a fourth year student studying aerospace engineering has won The Guardian’s Journey of the Future competition, in which students were asked to pitch their innovative transport solutions to a panel of expert judges.

Liam was commended for his idea for “virtual reality tele-work”, which would deploy existing virtual reality and cloud technologies to “remove the physical transport of human bodies” from the daily commute. This, he wrote, would allow more people to work from home and free up national transport infrastructure.

Entrants were asked to deliver their ideas in 300 words or less, and a shortlist was chosen by a panel of transport innovation experts. The final five entries were then put to a public vote.

“I’m quite ecstatic to have won and never expected my out-there idea to have succeeded. It was a great opportunity to have a creative platform where I could explore an exciting – if slightly dystopian – future for transport.”

Luke Mullen / MEng Aerospace engineering 

He added: “The pace at which technology is changing, I believe, could make virtual reality commuting a very real thing in the future. I hope readers who see this idea will be inspired to challenge the ethics and premise behind it. In my opinion, the most important thing about the future of transport is that it should be shaped around the needs and wants of the public.” 

The competition was sponsored by Atkins and the five shortlisted entries can be read here.

Original article featured in The Guardian 14/12/16