November 26, 2018 Architecture Students Share Experiences from Undergraduate Awards Global Summit in Ireland

Two Architecture students recently traveled to Dublin, Ireland, to attend The Undergraduate Awards Global Summit. The fifth-year students, James Halliwell and Joseph Platt, were named Commended Winners in the international Undergraduate Awards, earning each of them a spot at the highly selective summit.

This is the second year in a row that students from our college have placed in the Undergraduate Awards competition, sometimes called the junior Nobel Prize.

The Undergraduate Awards is the world’s top international academic awards program that distinguishes leading research, creative ideas and original work of college students in the sciences, humanities, business and creative arts.

During the summit from November 12-14, Halliwell and Platt presented their work to other students and professionals including researchers, educators and activists from all over the globe.

“This event was unlike any event I have experienced before. It brings people from all over the world to a single location to be able to open dialogs that bridge our research and provided such a unique experience that we all thrived on,” Platt said.

Both students said that collaborating with other student researchers was one of the top experiences at the summit. They also agreed that the experience helped them realize the wide reach of global issues and concerns.

“Despite a wide range of global issues, there are people who care deeply for each of them and really want to improve conditions around the world,” Halliwell said.

“Some topics and issues transcend our professions,” Platt said.  “We are all always focused on our own bubbles of relevance that we never question what we perceive as ‘irrelevant’ to be very provocative and proactive to our own ways of thinking.”

Using their new knowledge and connections, they offer some advice for students considering entering the competition with the hopes of traveling to next year’s summit.

Platt said that students looking to compete should make sure to submit research that they are passionate about even if it didn’t work or resulted in a dead end.

Halliwell added that once the student does earn the opportunity to travel to the summit, they should strive to meet new people and stay connected to them. He had some of the most memorable and meaningful conversations during the conference and looks forward to keeping in touch with his new colleagues and friends.

All undergraduate students at UT are encouraged to submit to the Undergraduate Awards. The deadline to submit is May of each year. For more information about undergraduate research, visit

Read more about Halliwell’s and Platt’s research.

Want to learn more about last year’s Highly Commended winner, Rachel Hunt? Check it out here.