Students from University College London have secured victory in the Institution of Mechanical Engineers’ Design Challenge national final, which took place on 7 October 2022 at One Birdcage Walk, London.
The Design Challenge was set up to simulate the requirements of a professional engineer, exposing students to the real world of engineering, in which they must think for themselves and apply a systematic approach in order to solve an engineering problem.
This year, teams were given a precise project specification for a device to simulate a ‘line launcher’ – a small-scale indoor device designed to fire a squash ball attached to a line at a vertical target from various distances. They were then asked to design, build and test such a device.
Throughout 2022, first- and second-year undergraduate teams competed against their peers in a series of regional heats. The winners went on to take part in the regional finals in the hope of qualifying for the national final.
The finalists were asked to deliver presentations to a judging panel, which also reviewed their computer aided designs. They then moved on to the main challenge, in which teams tested their line launchers. Competitors were scored in five categories: a poster competition, a presentation competition, a design competition, design excellence and the main challenge.
Team A from University College London were crowned the first-year national champions, while Team D from UCL were the second-year winners. Zigzag McQueen from Durham University were the runners up and Future Robot Wars Winners from Bournemouth University came in third.