Ewan McKenzie, Neil Robertson and Joe Gibson are among 30 entrants shortlisted in this year’s awards. Now in its fourth year, the competition encourages talented and ambitious UK science, technology, engineering and mathematics undergraduates to push themselves beyond their degree syllabuses. Entrants have the chance to win a £25,000 cash prize, plus a bespoke mentoring programme.
Students were asked to choose one of six sector-specific challenges set by the Awards’ sponsors and submit a proposal outlining how they would address it. The shortlisted candidates also had to present their ideas to the category sponsor.
Ewan and Neil, both from the Department of Chemical & Process Engineering, are shortlisted in the Design category, where they had to provide a novel Internet of Things (IoT) solution that could be applied in either the cities and development, transportation or energy market. IoT enables everyday objects to have network connectivity, allowing them to send and receive data. The solution had to be cost-effective and give the ability to intelligently act on the results to create a more efficient, safer and sustainable built environment that is more responsive to the user.
Joe Gibson, who studies in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, is shortlisted for his response to the Defence Technology Challenge. Joe had to foresee what an aircraft carrier would look like in the year 2050, where fossil fuels are becoming scarcer, and stealth and autonomous capabilities are vital in combating a number of different threats from pirates, terrorists and rogue states.
Joe had to consider sustainability and green energy resources, the design of the ship, ‘stealth’ technologies to make the ship undetectable and autonomous technologies such as sensors to make ships safe and effective with fewer people on board. For inspiration, entrants were told to look to the kind of technology and gadgetry akin to James Bond to get a feel of what might be possible.
Mark Goudie, who graduated from the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering in 2015, was a previous winner in the Design category.
Professor Dimitris Drikakis, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Engineering, said: “We’re incredibly proud to have three undergraduates reach this stage of the competition. It’s a fantastic opportunity for our students to meet and present their ideas to industry professionals, and get a taste of everyday engineering in practice. We’re wishing them all the best of luck for the final.”
The overall winners will be announced in June at a ceremony in London.