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Scottish Students Win Big at Young Software Engineer of The Year Awards

David Paul


Scottish Financial Technology Awards Young Software Engineer of The Year

The award winners won their accolades for a variety of interesting projects, including AI deep learning for film restoration and a decentralised blockchain framework.

Four engineering students from Scottish universities have picked up awards at the Young Software Engineer of The Year Awards 2020.

The students hail from St Andrews University, the University of Glasgow, Robert Gordon University and Aberdeen University, and their work was recognised as the best undergraduate software projects on offer.

Each university submitted the best final year undergraduate software engineering project from amongst their students. Prizes this year were sponsored by Sopra Steria, Edge Testing, BCS and Leidos.

The winners were drawn from across all students studying computing science and software engineering in Scotland and were presented at the ScotlandIS CmdR ScotSoft 2020 conference.

The winners included:

  • St Andrews University student Ryan Wilson for his tool that checks parallel programmes for flaws when running on a system with so-called weak memory consistency.
  • University of Glasgow student Daniella Ivanova for her AI deep learning programme which can be applied to the restoration of films.
  • Aberdeen University student Konrad Dryja who has been recognised for developing a decentralised blockchain authentication framework.
  • Robert Gordon University student Craig Pirie who won the Best Engineering Project Award for his project on using AI vision to identify corrosion in underwater images for inspection engineering applications.

Jane Morrison-Ross, CEO of ScotlandIS said: “This year’s Young Software Engineer entries have been a showcase for Scotland’s digital talent.

“All of this year’s Young Software Engineer winners and runners up have demonstrated not only great ability to develop novel ideas, but they are also applicable in the real world, bringing tangible benefits to many industries in the future.”


Chris Cummins, who gained his PhD at the University of Edinburgh, was also awarded the coveted SICSA PhD Award for Best Dissertation in Scotland 2019-2020 for his work on deep learning in compilers.

The award is sponsored by Amazon Development Centre Scotland at this year’s SICSA Conference which was collocated with the ScotlandIS event.

Professor Stuart Anderson, SICSA Interim Director said: “Chris’s research into deep learning and neural networks is outstanding. We received a range of exceptional submissions for this year’s Best Dissertation in Scotland Award, once again demonstrating the calibre of students, research and industry collaboration in Scotland.”

The awards, running for over 30 years, are organised by ScotlandIS, the membership body for the digital technologies industry. The organisation works closely with the Scottish Government, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Scottish Enterprise, and Skills Development Scotland to underline the importance of the digital technologies industry to the Scottish economy.

David Paul

Staff Writer, DIGIT

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