A team of Masters students from Middlesex University have been crowned winners at the prestigious Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Young Professional Engineering Challenge 2011, seeing off competition from Transport for London (TfL) and Kings College London.
Entrants were tasked with designing a sustainable solution for the transport of visitors that could be introduced and used in time for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. After analysing current transport infrastructure and considering a number of options, the Middlesex University team picked electric bicycles and recharging docks as the most viable choice.
The students had one hour to put together a compelling engineering design and business plan which was presented in front of representatives from TfL, the IET and a project management expert. Feedback was then given in a ‘Dragon’s Den’ meets the ‘Apprentice’ style.
The team was led by Manu John, and included Murali Srinivasan Kadumbathi and Gimy Vihas Gracias. Their presentations were judged on issues like cost, customer experience, sustainability, innovation and how well they fit with the Olympic ideal.
The electric bicycles and recharging docks particularly impressed judges with their potential for future growth, sustainability, pricing and low CO2 emissions.
Manu John said: “The competition was a great experience and enabled us to meet lots of new people. We knew it would be tough competing against TfL, but the strength of our idea proved successful. Maybe by this time next year we will be able to travel to University on our electric bicycles!”
Dr Aboubaker Lasebae, the students’ lecturer at Middlesex University, said: “The Middlesex team’s victory was testament of their hard work. Their innovative design and well-researched business case impressed the judges. Having to work to ‘real-life’ costs, designs and time-scales was great preparation for working in the industry.”