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Institution news

UCL engineering students win 2021 Design Challenge

Institution News Team

UCL 1st and 2nd year student teams
UCL 1st and 2nd year student teams

The Design Challenge is intended to complement the academic curriculum and present participants with the opportunity to demonstrate their design skills and innovative ideas which form part of their course, outside of the regular studying environment.

This year, teams were set the task to design, build, test and present a repeatable vehicle following a set technical specification which would represent the first stages of a robotic vehicle that could be used for materials handling purposes.

We are delighted to announce that the Design Challenge 2021 National Final was won by first and second-year teams from University College London:

“The Design Challenge has been as much about enriching my technical skills, as much as it was about meeting new people and developing my communication skills. I would highly recommend participation in this competition to other students!”
- Viliam Kacerik (2nd year team)

“It was an amazing experience to have engineering experts, including Ben Hodgkinson, scrutinising our design and concepts and it was a really great learning experience.”
- George Stonor (1st year team)

IMechE Education Programme Operations Manager Jelena Gacesa noted that "The 2021 Design Challenge honoured the work of students in the most challenging of circumstances. Together we celebrated their resilience, problem solving acumen and innovative solutions; reinforcing the importance of practical engineering skills in an increasingly virtual world."

Steven Parkinson, Education Manager at Autodesk who are sponsors of this year's Design Challenge commented that "The Design Challenge emulates a real-life design and manufacture problem, including briefs, specifications, rules, teams and deadlines. It’s a fantastic Challenge that prepares and tests students under pressurised situations.”

Design Challenge Steering Committee Chair Ben Hodgkinson adds that “I have witnessed some incredible engineering skill and truly inspired innovation. The competition and how it can discover amazing engineering talent of the future makes it so important. It’s The X Factor for engineers!”

Well done to all of the teams who took part in the 2021 Design Challenge and thank you to our sponsors Autodesk, Mercedes AMG High Performance Powertrains and Mashoom.

Results from the Design Challenge 2021 National Final: 

1st year winners

  • National Champions: Team A - University College London (Greater London Region)
  • Runner up: Team A - Lancaster University (North Western Region)
  • Third place: Team 2 - Bournemouth University (Wessex Region)
  • Poster Competition: Team A - Lancaster University (North Western Region)
  • Presentation Competition: Team A - University College London (Greater London Region)
  • Design Competition: Team A - University College London (Greater London Region)
  • Design Excellence: Team A - University College London (Greater London Region)

2nd year winner

  • National Champions: Team B - University College London (Greater London Region)

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