Published: 30 July 2014

Liverpool students excel in engineering challenge

Timor-Leste

A team of six engineering students from the University of Liverpool have been placed runner-up in the national Engineers without Borders (EWB) Challenge Finals.

Almost 3,000 students from 19 universities from across the UK and Ireland embarked on the EWB Challenge as part of their first and second year engineering degree. Out of that number, seventeen teams qualified for the national finals held at Durham University.

The Liverpool team from the School of Engineering (pictured below), comprising Tsanko Dimov, Lima Nance, Cheng Li, Polly Martin, Harry Baggaley and Pak Wong, presented a mechanised solution for generating coconut oil.

The EWB Challenge is a program delivered by Engineers without Borders UK, in partnership with participating universities. It aims to equip new generations of engineers with the skills and knowledge required to address global challenges in their professional careers. Students are encouraged to consider the social, economic and environmental issues that engineers have to face in addition to the technical challenges.

This year, EWB-UK worked in partnership with EWB Australia and Plan Timor-Leste to provide students from both sides of the globe with design briefs based on challenges in Codo, a small community in the eastern district of Lautem, Timor-Leste (Picture above shows Timor-Leste). Students were tasked with designing solutions to address the needs of a community requiring urgent assistance with access to basic services, such as drinkable water, sanitation, sustainable housing and reliable energy.

Engineers without Borders

The finals event challenged students to present their projects to the judging panel of experts in academia, professional engineering and international development, among them Dr. Unni Krishnan, the Head of Disaster Response and Preparedness for Plan International; and Jonny Gutteridge, Chief Executive at Engineers without Borders UK.

Dr Tim Short from the School of Engineering at the University of Liverpool, who supervised the students’ project, said: “Our students did an excellent job of going beyond the normal technological aspects of the design, embracing broader sustainability concerns such as environmental and social community issues.”

Jonny Gutteridge, Chief Exec of EWB-UK said: “We need the right technology and knowledge to solve urgent global problems and we need more engineers on the task. That is why I am delighted to see growing interest from UK universities and internationally in implementing this programme. We hope to excite new generations of engineers about working in sustainable international development.”

As a result of their success in the event, the Liverpool team attended the Massive Small Change Conference – a one day celebration of new ideas, perspectives and approaches in the engineering and international development sectors. This included taking part in the ‘Design a Refugee Camp’ workshop – an international engineering organisation which provides humanitarian training for NGOs and relief workers.

Hannah Rodger, Leanne Gorge, Deborah Bouvie, Frank Worcester, Josh Wall and Sam Gale from Nottingham Trent University won the national competition with their design for a safe playground for children.

The EWB Challenge is made possible in the UK through generous support from the Anglo American Group Foundation.

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