Aimed at engineering students in their first and second years of study, the competition asks teams to design, build and implement a technical solution to a specific mechanical task. This year’s challenge demanded an autonomous device that could climb a 15mm copper pipe, weighed down with increasing loads.
Following the participation of around 3,500 students across the UK, selected finalists took part in a showdown at the IET’s London headquarters, where Plymouth and Brunel were selected as the respective winners in the first year and second year categories.
“Competing in this year’s Design Challenge has been really rewarding, but also very challenging at times,” said Mark Galea, leader of the Brunel University Team.
“It’s an excellent opportunity to apply the skills you have learnt in the first and second years of your degree course, and really prove that you have a good understanding of the valuable skills required to be a competent engineer. It’s been a privilege to take part in the national final as well as the regional final, and to win both of them.”
Discussing the impact of the competition, IMechE Design Challenge judge Alan Moss, said: “Universities should take part in this competition because it challenges their students to do exactly the kind of thing that they need to be able to do when they graduate and move on into industry. They need to be able to work together with people, project manage, overcome difficulties around design, build prototypes and ultimately, iterate their way to a working solution.”
The results in full:
1st Year Winners:
- National Champions: Plymouth University (Wessex Region)
- Runner-up: University of Central Lancashire (North West Region)
- 3rd place: University of Durham (North East Region)
- Poster Competition: University of Durham (North East Region)
- Presentation Competition: University of Durham (North East Region)
- Design Excellence: Plymouth University (Wessex Region)
2nd Year Winners:
- National Champions: University of Brunel (Greater London Region)
- Runner-up: University of Coventry (Midland Region)
- Poster Competition: University of Coventry (Midland Region)
- Presentation Competition: University of Brunel (Greater London Region)
- Design Excellence: University of Coventry (Midland Region)