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Brunel and Durham engineering students win 2018 Design Challenge

11 October 2018

Student teams from Brunel University London and Durham University have been crowned champions of this year’s Design Challenge, which is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to encourage young engineers to develop their technical and design skills.

Around 2,000 engineering undergraduates from across the UK take part in the annual Design Challenge, a competition that provides a taste of the ‘real world’ of engineering by setting teams of up to five students a task to design, build, test and present a mechanical device based on a predefined technical specification.

It is open to first and second year students – Brunel’s team won this year’s award for second year students, while Durham won the first-year student category.

The Design Challenge is intended to complement the academic curriculum and allows participants to showcase their design skills and innovative ideas in projects that form part of their course.

The final, which was held at the Institution’s headquarters in London, featured devices designed to climb autonomously up inside a pipe carrying an increasing load.

This year, the successful projects included a scissor design that moved up and down the tube in under four seconds, a design with caterpillar treads that worked on a timer to successfully stop at the correct point and also an exciting design propelled using canisters of carbon dioxide. 

“We set up the Design Challenge to show students that their academic studies have real life application. We want to build on their interest to study the subject and subsequently follow an engineering career. The students give us great confidence for the future of engineering in the UK,” said Colin Brown, Chief Executive of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. 

“The experience was truly valuable. We have become better engineers by learning to work to deadlines, the presentation and poster competition made us more ready for the corporate world,” said Sam Whelan, leader of the Durham University team.

For the universities, the competition is a valuable opportunity to develop their creative and technical skills. 

“The Design Challenge provides an essential and stimulating professional-level engineering project through which students can benchmark themselves against not only other universities but, most importantly, the expectations of industry,” said Mark Atherton, Professor of Design Engineering at Brunel University London. 

For more information on the Design Challenge, please click here - http://www.imeche.org/events/challenges/design-challenge/about-design-challenge


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