UCLan wins annual regional engineering design challenge

2 April 2019

Undergraduate engineering students successfully gain a place in the 2019 Institution of Mechanical Engineers Design Challenge national final

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has triumphed at an annual regional engineering competition and will now go onto compete in a national final.

 The UCLan first year motorsport engineering students competed against 12 other teams from North West universities before being crowned the winners of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IOM) North West Design Challenge.

In addition to winning the regional competition, including a £500 prize, the University students; George Coleman, Matthew Maginnes, Adam Pinkney, Tom Ramsay and Callum Walton won Best Presentation and an invite to the Annual Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) Excellence Awards Dinner.

The 2019 Design Challenge gives first and second year students a chance to gain real-industry experience. The aim of the challenge was to design, create, present and run a device to a strict technical specification. The students were set a budget of £25 to construct a device that climbs up and down a two metre a pipe whilst carrying a length of chain.

"It was great to see so many other students from other universities and see that we had all been working on the same problem."

David Ball, Chair of the Design Challenge and Fellow of IMECHE, said: “As the instigator of the original competition, I am very pleased to say that we have achieved the original objective. This is partially due to the fact that teams looked at previous results and used that knowledge to improve their prototypes and design this year.

“The competition and team’s results have improved tremendously through the years and at the North West final all teams showed outstanding results and showcased some impressive prototypes. The design of the University of Central Lancashire team’s device was simple and effective, to a large part this was due to the effort and dedication of Mr Tony Broad. We look forward to seeing them compete at the national final design challenge on 4 October in London.”

Winning student George Coleman said: “It was great to see so many other students from other universities and see that we had all been working on the same problem.”

The UCLan team carried out the work for the competition in UCLan’s extensive manufacturing workshops. George added: “It was beneficial to be in the workshops and to actually make the thing we’d designed was the best part, winning was a bonus.”

Tony Broad, Senior Lecturer and team supervisor, said: “I’m so pleased for the team, they deserved the win and are a credit to the University. The team won through a combination of reliability and speed, their pipe climber performed flawlessly.  To see students manufacture the thing they have designed and see it work so well against some very stiff competition is great. The experience they have gained is invaluable.”

The 2019 Design Challenge is organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

*IMechE Chairman Jim Hansen, competition creator Dr David Ball, Tom Ramsay, Tony Broad (Lecturer) Adam Pinkney, Matthew Maginnes, Callum Walton and George Coleman.