Under the guidance of Senior Design Engineering Lecturer Alex Zivanovic, Meliha Beglerovic, Mehnaz Mahaboob and Eva Blessing Onyeulo finished runners-up to a team from Kingston University in the Greater London Region heat.
After beating two teams from London Southbank University and two more from Kingston, the three-woman team of undergraduate engineers will now compete in the UK final at the IMechE headquarters in Westminster on Friday 3 October.
Hosted at Middlesex University's Hendon campus, the competition saw teams tasked with building a robot that is capable of climbing up the inside of a 2.5m tall transparent tube.
To make the challenge more complicated, they were only allowed to spend £20 on components and the robot had to carry an ever-increasing load in the form of an attached metal chain.
Mehmet Karamanoglu, Head of the Design Engineering department at Middlesex University, said: "Our team only had two weeks to prepare compared to the others who had several months, so they should take great confidence from this.
"Their 'can do' attitude and creative approach was clear to see, and the judges commented on their original, non-symmetric solution to the problem."
The IMechE Design Challenge is currently in its first year as a pilot programme featuring two regions of the UK, but next year will expand to include regions from across the country.
It aims to encourage engineering students to engage with their discipline and practice some of the challenges they may face in their career after they graduate.
As part of its roll-out, the project will be incorporated into a number of universities' engineering degree syllabuses, including Middlesex where it will become one of the projects students take on in their first year.