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Royal Holloway IBM Hursley intern demos WaterYouDoing? project.

  • Date08 February 2020

WaterYouDoing? helps farmers use water more efficiently to increase food productivity.


The WaterYouDoing team - Tom Jefferson, Thomas Soal (RHUL), Thomas Jennings and Tyler Robinson-Voss

A Royal Holloway student interning at IBM Hursley has demonstrated with a team of other interns their Hackathon project, 'WaterYouDoing', an application designed to help farmers use water more efficiently to increase food productivity. Having seen great interest and success at the Intern Hackathon in September, they recently took their project to Southbank and the 'Your Future, Your Ambition' event at the Emirates stadium.

Where it began 

The journey started for  Thomas Soal (RHUL), Tom Jefferson, Thomas Jennings and Tyler Robinson-Voss at the UP Hackathon in Hursley, based on improving food productivity around the world. With just a few hours to design a solution and present their ideas, WaterYouDoing had great success, winning the vote of visiting IBMers and the other participating interns. This landed the team a spot at the Festival of Innovation, where they were able to present their progress to hundreds of visiting clients and business partners, some of whom were eager to see more of the project. An IBMer visiting Hursley invited the team to South Bank and then to the Your Future, Your Ambition event at the Emirates Stadium, home of Arsenal FC.

London Calling 

Day One of the trip was at South Bank, for a chat with other interns and Matthew Pritchard, South Bank Lab Leader. The "three Toms and Tyler" all found it extremely interesting to see how the other intern jobs differed to theirs, and also loved hearing about Matt Pritchard's journey through IBM so far. The following day (after a very sensible and early night...) the team travelled to North London for the Your Future, Your Ambition event. This is held annually and themed on 'The STEM of tomorrow', aiming to inspire young people (ages 7 to 23) from diverse backgrounds into pursuing STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Maths) based careers.

Alongside representing the IBM placement scheme, the team also showed off a demo and presentation of 'WaterYouDoing', armed with a poster designed by fellow UP Charlotte Matthews. Utilising Soil Moisture and Ocean Salinity data, The Weather Company API, Watson platform and machine learning, the app is designed to show farmers where they should be watering their crops for water efficiency and advise on what to grow depending on current and future weather predictions. In turn this would bring in more income for the farmers, but more importantly keep up with the ever-growing demand of food.

The event was a huge success and WaterYouDoing gained great plaudits, including one girl saying her "favourite part of the day was the farmer app!". The team loved delivering their own idea to the attending students, and to see them feel inspired was highly rewarding.

What's next?

The project is continuing to move at great pace, with WaterYouDoing being asked to present to year 11's and sixth formers at South Bank's 'Pave It Forward' event, leading a mini-hackathon in December. At the initial Hackathon, the team also spoke to Margaret Ross MBE, head of British Computer Society for Hampshire, who has asked for an in-depth talk at an upcoming Green IT event. Having spoken to various IBMers at South Bank about the future of the app and the industry they are going into, the progress of WaterYouDoing looks sure to continue.

Exciting times for the four Hursley interns, so keep an eye out for their progress over the coming months!


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