Last week (22 – 26th November) was Project week 1 for student engineers at UWE Bristol. Project weeks are time dedicated for students to develop teamworking skills as they learn how to apply the design process to real-world problems.
Students in the Engineering Practice 1 unit, undertook an Engineers without borders design challenge – selecting from 8 challenge areas facing the indigenous people living in one of Australia’s most remote regions – Cape York.
After researching the challenge areas and emphathising with the needs of the people involved – students started the week by the all important definition of the problem – making sure to consider user needs and practical factors e.g. economics and environmental impact.
With the design criteria set on day 1, the students needed inspiration to start coming up with possible solutions. And inspiration was provided in the form of guest speaker and UWE alumni – Silas Adekunle – who invented the world’s first intelligent gaming robot whilst still at University.
Team members furiously sketched concept ideas – voted on their favourites – before spending the rest of the week detailing the design, thinking through implementation from installation practicalities to costing, and risk management. All these elements were then pulled together by the teams to present in poster format on the final day.
Thanks to Senior Lecturer Dr David Richardson for preparing the week. Some of the teams’ posters can be seen below.
There was a celebratory feel on the final presentation day, with a mega scaletrix bought out for the students to play on.