The automotive sector is changing radically. Integrated Electronic Systems (ES) are becoming increasingly important and sophisticated, totalling as much as 40% of the components of some vehicles. Electronics accounts for 80% of in-vehicle innovation, and ES continues to have a hugely positive impact on car safety, security, economy and control. The UK already has a strong presence in the automotive sector globally, but the race is now on for automotive companies to embrace open innovation practices and focus on accelerating the delivery of advanced ES into their vehicles.

In order to raise awareness about and interest in automotive electronics and security among undergraduates, AESIN (Automotive Electronic Systems Innovation Network) and the UKESF ran an Automotive Electronics Competition. The competition was kindly sponsored by UltraSoC.

The Competition

Entrants were required to produce a ‘think piece’ about the future of cyber security for connected and autonomous vehicles and submit it directly to the UKESF. The piece needed to have:

  • Have a compelling title
  • Be no more than 1,000 words
  • Be along the lines of a blog post in style, not a formal essay


The winner received £1,000, with a runner-up receiving £500. The prizes were awarded at the annual AESIN Conference (pictured above). Both finalists were invited to the conference and dinner as guests of AESIN/TechWorks, and both winning entries were published.


To qualify, entrants had to:

  • Be registered at a UKESF partner university on a BEng or MEng degree, or a MSc course
  • Be focused on Electronics, Computer Science, Automotive Engineering and/or Cyber subjects
  • Qualify as a UK or EU student for tuition fees or be a British National, with a permanent right to work in the UK upon graduation

Past Winners

2020, Suzanne Candanedo, University of Warwick


2019 David Kong, University of Edinburgh

“AESIN are delighted to be able to support the Automotive Electronics Competition. The Automotive Electronics industry is going through unprecedented change, and the security challenges we face both now and in the future with Connected and Autonomous vehicles will be solved by the next generation of engineers and scientists who truly understand the challenges of Digital Resilience and Cyber Security in the new Automotive space.”
Alan Banks, CEO, TechWorks & former Chairman, AESIN

“At UltraSoC we believe that strong links with the academic world provide multi-faceted benefits to everyone involved – an opportunity for students to learn about and use state-of-the-art commercial products, an opportunity for UltraSoC to stay abreast of the latest academic developments in many related relevant fields, and the ability for us all to advance our industry together. We are delighted to sponsor this UKESF project and very much look forward to reviewing the entries.”
Aileen Ryan, Chief Strategy Officer, UltraSoC