A TEAM from the University of Winchester has reached the finals of a regional competition testing project management skills.

The masters’ students came through the first knockout stage of the Wessex Association of Project Management (APM) Challenge in December when they had to pitch their project idea to a panel of experts.

As the theme of this year’s event is AI, the Winchester team have called themselves ‘The AI-nsteins’.
After clearing the first hurdle Holly Tate, Molly Hamilton, Owain Lloyd and Annie Ogle, who are all studying for an MSc in Project Management, received a budget of £150 to turn their idea into reality.

The Winchester quartet’s entry – a symposium on AI in Project Management – will now take place on Wednesday February 28 at 6.30pm in the university’s West Downs Centre.

The symposium, which is free to attend, will feature presentations by keynote speaker Martin Paver, CEO and founder of data analytics firm Projecting Success; Pheobe Meads, a University of Winchester project management lecturer who will address the possible drawbacks of AI; and PhD student Finch McKee, who will speak about the ethics of AI.

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Their talks will be followed by a Q&A session.

To deliver the symposium the foursome had to book speakers, find a venue, organise catering, formulate a marketing campaign, produce publicity material and arrange for the event to be recorded and uploaded online.

“We’ve never done anything like this before and it’s been a real challenge, particularly finding speakers who are willing to give their time for free,” said Holly.

“However, the experience has been really helpful for our studies – it’s great to be putting into practice what we are learning.”

The winners will be announced during finals night on March 28 when teams will present their project overview to a panel of judges and a live audience. 

The AI-nsteins will be up against teams from the Universities of Southampton, Portsmouth and Bournemouth as well as teams from BAE Systems.

The team’s sponsor is Dr Caroline Tite, senior lecturer in project management, who said: “Our University of Winchester Team, the ‘AI-nsteins’ have done very well in getting through the early stages of the competition.

“The competition is an excellent way to develop and practice professional competences associated with project management in a realistic environment. The team is gaining real-life experience and practice using their learning on the MSc Project Management and a wide range of key project management competences and skills to deliver their project.”