Former Pupil Tully is Victorious in National BP Energy Competition

A former Truro School pupil was part of the winning team of this year’s BP Ultimate Field Trip, from an original entry of over 100 teams.


Talbot (Tully) Kingsbury, now an Engineering Science student at Keble College Oxford, was presented with first prize for the competition, which is open to all university students and is run in six different countries. The challenge is to provide a solution for energy companies to reduce their energy usage and, after completing an online quiz, the three person teams were required to submit a series of slides outlining their idea.


His team, named I Challenge You to a Joule, addressed onshore gas flaring. He explained: “Oil wells have to burn gas by-products that they cannot export, but our solution would instead use the gas to power aluminium electrolysis, carried out in containerised modules which could be moved from site to site. Having had the pleasure of four years being taught chemistry by Mr Leigh of Truro School, I had the background knowledge to develop this idea!”


Tully chose to study engineering based on an interest in solving problems and a passion for how things worked. He also wanted to be able to “make an impact on the world.”


He said: “Two years into my degree and following an eight week internship in industry, I’ve realised just how much engineering goes on around us, and the extent to which it facilitates our lives. Born and raised in beautiful Cornwall, far from big industry, the BP Ultimate Field Trip has been a great way to get involved with engineering outside academia.”


For Tully, the last few months have revolved around the competition. Out of over 100 entries, 12 teams were selected for the semi-final at BP’s UK headquarters in London, where they presented a technical poster.


Four teams then progressed to the final, held at the Royal Institution in London and hosted by the BBC’s Clare Balding. The teams each made a four minute documentary video on which they answered questions to four judges from the energy industry, in front of an audience of 200.


Tully said: “Standing there reminded me of my presentation for my Extended Project Qualification in the Burrell Theatre at school, and how it helped me through the process. There were four strong ideas, but we came out victorious.”


As a prize, Tully’s I Challenge You to a Joule team will be joining the five other teams from around the world on a unique trip to Alaska and Chicago, where they will experience BP’s operations first hand.


He concluded: “With a degree in engineering you are equipped to face all sorts of technical challenges in areas which the modern world depend upon. I’d highly recommend the course; you never know where it might take you.”


You can see I Challenge You to a Joule’s Technical Poster on our Facebook page.