• Wed. Jun 19th, 2024

North East Connected

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How a design challenge is giving students a taste of real world engineering

2024pr050pic2Sunderland Team 1 students (left to right) Ahnaf Amin, Mustasem Bouha, Jose Saurith and Ben Clapp with David Winter and Dr Aidan Bowes.

A group of budding engineers at the University of Sunderland are celebrating four award wins in the north-east regional final of the 2024 Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Design Challenge.

Two teams of Sunderland first-year Mechanical Engineering students entered the competition – a full-day event held at Teesside University on May 2 – and competed against teams from four other north-east universities.

The Design Challenge provides undergraduates with a taste of the ‘real world’ of engineering, challenging them to design, create, present and compete with a device made to strict technical specifications.

It gives them real industry experience, practical employability skills, and enhanced business and team building skills – all within a set time frame.

This year’s challenge was to build an autonomous repeatable vehicle, which can be any movable device – wheeled, walking, sliding, jumping, rolling or other.

Sunderland’s Team 1 won four out of five of the events – these were the design competition, the presentation, the peer review and the final test competition – as well as the overall north-east competition and trophy.

It means Sunderland moves forward to compete in the national final at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London in October.

Dr Aidan Bowes, Programme Leader for Engineering Technologies at the University of Sunderland, said: “I would like to take the opportunity to thank and congratulate the students from Sunderland for their hard work over the last weeks and months refining and testing their IMechE challenge designs.

“The students were excellent representatives of the University of Sunderland and they should all be incredibly proud of themselves. I would also like to give additional recognition to our team captains, Jose Saurith and Zen Hassoun, for their leadership and commitment to the challenge. Best of luck to the team going forward to the national final.”

Dave Knapton, Associate Head of School of Engineering at the University of Sunderland, added: “The results of the competition are the culmination of a year’s study for these students. Throughout the year, first year engineering students are taught the principal theories needed to excel in the competition, this includes mechanical and electrical theory, along with presentation skills and teamwork. The team have drawn on experience, skills and knowledge from every single module on their courses.”

For more information on the University of Sunderland’s Mechanical Engineering degree, visit: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/engineering/undergraduate-mechanical-engineering/

For the University of Sunderland’s School of Engineering: https://www.sunderland.ac.uk/study/engineering/