University of Leeds team wins prestigious ICE MERIT game

The University of Leeds is celebrating a significant achievement as its team, GMWP Ltd, has been crowned the champion of the MERIT University Tournament 2024.

GMWP Ltd, from the School of Civil Engineering has been crowned the champion of the MERIT University Tournament 2024, winning a £2,000 cash prize. The tournament, which stands for "Management, Enterprise, Risk, Innovation, and Teamwork", is a rigorous competition designed to test the business acumen and strategic thinking of engineering students from universities worldwide.

An impressive victory

Despite facing formidable opponents, GMWP Ltd, composed of William Martin, Conáran Patton, Riku Gega, and Anton Whitehead, secured their victory through sheer determination and a winning strategy. The competition was intense, with teams from renowned institutions worldwide such as the National University of Singapore and the University of Manchester giving their all.

The MERIT game is a great way to develop teamwork and decision making on the wider scale. As aspiring engineers, experiences like these are extremely valuable in developing soft skills, which are harder to refine.

Riku Gega

Speaking about GMWP Ltd’s success, MERIT said: “They dug in and held on, achieving the win, even though their share price was only 0.15, ranking them fourth in the share price list. They were sixth in the final round of the Early Years Phase and clearly coped well with the increased competition of the final.”

The winning team's roles and strategy

The winning team members shared their insights and experiences from the competition, shedding light on the strategies and teamwork that led to their success.

Team roles:

  • Riku Gega (Civil and Structural Engineering, 3rd Year) - Team Leader and Financial Manager
  • Anton Whitehead (Civil Engineering, 3rd Year) - Overheads Manager
  • William Martin (Civil Engineering and Project Management, 3rd Year) - Procurement Manager
  • Conáran Patton (Civil and Environmental Engineering, 3rd Year) - Construction Manager
William Martin

William Martin

ConĂ¡ran Patton

Conáran Patton

Anton Whitehead Civil engineering

Anton Whitehead


Riku Gega

The MERIT University Tournament is divided into two phases: the early phase and the late phase. During the early phase, teams compete against the computer, vying for a spot in the top six to advance to the late phase. The late phase presents tougher computer-based competition and head-to-head challenges against other teams. The game simulates various financial situations, client relationships, and labour conditions in the markets, scoring the performance of the company across multiple metrics such as company value and forward margins. Teams must develop sound business strategies while reacting to shifts in market conditions to succeed.

Riku Gega explained the team's approach: "In order to win, the team had to develop a sound business strategy but also react to the shifts in market conditions. In this case, the heightened competition for procuring jobs due to very low job quantity and availability in the later years meant that we had to make some hard decisions like laying off a vast pool of the labour force as there weren't enough jobs to maintain them for an extended period of time."

Personal growth and team development

Beyond the thrill of competition, the MERIT game provided the team members with valuable lessons in leadership, management, and decision-making. Each member gained insights into different aspects of running a construction business, from financial management to procurement and project oversight.

The unpredictable nature of project performance and job availability within the simulation really tested our ability to make intelligent and difficult decisions.

Anton Whitehead

Anton Whitehead reflected on the experience: "MERIT was a fantastic opportunity to be involved in, it provides a comprehensive insight into how to manage a construction business on a wide scale, encompassing key aspects above and within individual projects.”

“The unpredictable nature of project performance and job availability within the simulation really tested our ability to make intelligent and difficult decisions, as well as considering the direct and indirect impacts of these actions. The competition is a great chance to gain an appreciation of higher-level company decisions, perfect for engineering students who have not yet been exposed to that side of the construction industry."

Conáran Patton highlighted the practical lessons learned: "The competition was an amazing experience and truly tested the limits of our knowledge of real-world decisions and situations which civil engineers face and must make in the management of construction companies.”

William Martin emphasised the educational value of the game: "In the MERIT game, serving as the Procurement Manager was both enjoyable and worthwhile. My role involved bidding on various contracts, where I focused on estimating prices, profit margins, and adding contingency costs. I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge of determining which contracts aligned best with our company's expertise."

Collaborating with my team to assess opportunities and develop competitive bids made the experience incredibly rewarding.

William Martin

A bright future ahead

The University of Leeds is immensely proud of the GMWP Ltd team for their remarkable achievement. Their success in the MERIT University Tournament 2024 is a testament to their hard work, strategic thinking, and collaborative spirit. 

Congratulations to GMWP Ltd and all the participants of the MERIT University Tournament 2024!