Data Storytelling Challenge Competition Winner Announced

Data Storytelling Challenge Competition Winner Announced

Bristol, 26th April 2018 - The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS), a specialist in high value design, hosted the winners celebration event of the Data Storytelling Challenge Competition that it has been running on behalf of Rolls-Royce plc.

The competition challenged university students to create a clear, accurate and visually engaging way of displaying complex engineering and maintenance data, that is used to uncover insights and improve engine performance and customer operations.

The competition generated over 500 registrations, which resulted in a shortlist of finalists who presented their data visualisations and the tools used to develop these to a panel of expert judges.

The winner of the competition was Nana Abankwa from the University of Southampton, who is studying for a PhD in Engineering Sciences. Nana will have the opportunity to work with Rolls-Royce to develop his ideas further. The competition runners up were Huaiyuan Qu from the Warwick Business School, and team entry Rawaida Kamarudin and Weijiang Lin from the University of Sheffield. Because of the high standard of entries, the winner and finalists were rewarded with the opportunity of a 10 week internship at Rolls-Royce. The internship will comprise shadowing the R2 Data Labs team, working on some of the largest and most complex data sets available, and investigating ways to combine operational knowledge and expertise with data to create actionable insights.

Sam Paice, Chief Operating Officer commented, “Data visualisation is a key evolving technology, where advances are essential in reshaping the value of analytics gathered from engineering datasets. The viewer needs to learn about the specifics of the data being presented, and as such visualisations must tell a story and bring insight to what is being viewed. This is a significant area of focus throughout industry, and we are delighted to have been involved in hosting the competition.”

Nigel Jackson, Artificial Intelligence Hub Lead, R2 Data Labs, Rolls-Royce, involved in leading the competition commented,“Driven by digitalisation, new technologies and a rapid growth of data volumes, the requirement to transform complex data sets into actionable insight is unprecedented. The significant number of competition registrations received indicates the trend in the visualisation of data. The finalists selected presented some very exciting and inspirational visualisations and toolsets, and we look forward to working with them further to develop their ideas.”

About CFMS

The Centre for Modelling & Simulation (CFMS) is proud to be a growing, independent and not-for-profit organisation that specialises in digitally enabled high value design. We promote advanced modelling and simulation, underpinned by High Performance Computing (HPC), pushing the boundaries of technology.

Through our exceptional, collaborative, virtual and physical facilities, we enable the adoption and acceleration of new technologies for advanced modelling and simulation, while improving learning and developing awareness of state-of-the-art. Engaging with organisations large and small, we help to provide access to the right tools, resources, skills and technologies, resulting in increased productivity and faster, more informed decision-making.

As a trusted and neutral provider, our vision is to drive a practical revolution in engineering capability and design, working with organisations to reduce risk in the design phase, product development costs and time to market.

For further information about how CFMS can help your business, view our brochure here, visit, call 0117 906 1100 or email

Media Contact

For all CFMS interviews and press enquiries: Alison Little, CFMS, t: 0117 906 1100

About Rolls-Royce Holdings plc 

  1. Rolls-Royce pioneers cutting-edge technologies that deliver the cleanest, safest and most competitive solutions to meet our planet’s vital power needs.
  2. Rolls-Royce has customers in more than 150 countries, comprising more than 400 airlines and leasing customers, 160 armed forces, 4,000 marine customers including 70 navies, and more than 5,000 power and nuclear customers.
  3. Annual underlying revenue was £13.8 billion in 2016, around half of which came from the provision of aftermarket services. The firm and announced order book stood at £82.7 billion at the end of June 2017.
  4. In 2016, Rolls-Royce invested £1.3 billion on research and development. We also support a global network of 31 University Technology Centres, which position Rolls-Royce engineers at the forefront of scientific research.
  5. Rolls-Royce employs almost 50,000 people in 50 countries. More than 16,500 of these are engineers.
  6. The Group has a strong commitment to apprentice and graduate recruitment and to further developing employee skills. In 2016 we recruited 274 graduates and 327 apprentices through our worldwide training programmes.
  7. In November 2017, Rolls-Royce launched R2 Data Labs, an acceleration hub for data innovation. Using advanced data analytics, industrial Artificial Intelligence and machine learning techniques, R2 Data Labs develops data applications that unlock design, manufacturing and operational efficiencies within Rolls-Royce, and creates new service propositions for customers.

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