• What's involved:

    Each year students are challenged to undertake a specific project.

    The 2022 project is to build a line launcher. Line launchers can be used to fire a rope from one ship to another at sea, or for various other rescue scenarios, such as delivering a line to a high-rise building, or pulling a zip line over a divide.

    Teams are tasked to produce a small-scale indoor device, to fire a squash ball attached to a line, at a horizontal target, from various distances. There are many methods of firing projectiles; such devices require a controlled and safe method of energy storage with a reliable release mechanism.

  • Students are challenged to undertake a specific project to design, build and test:

    • 2018 – an internal pipe-climber
    • 2019 – an external pipe-climber
    • 2021 – a repeatable vehicle
    • 2022 – line launcher

Four key elements of the Design Challenge:

News & Updates

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Design Challenge 2021 to culminate in a National Final at One Birdcage Walk

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Why Participate?

The Design Challenge has been as much about enriching my technical skills, as much as it was about meeting new people and developing my communication skills. I would highly recommend participation in this competition to other students!

Viliam Kacerik

Winner with the second year University College London team who won the 2021 Design Challenge National Final

The Design Challenge was integrated into our course as part of the engineering design module. I believe the Design Challenge is an excellent competition which allowed me and my colleagues to apply all we had learned so far from our studies. More was learned from the manufacturing, prototyping and testing of our device including failures and successes, providing an understanding of real-world processes before the final reward of having a fully working product.

Mark Galea

Winner with the second year Brunel University London team who won the 2019 Design Challenge National Final

It was an exciting journey for all of us as we were put to test the knowledge that we have learnt in university. We were expected to come up with an ingenious design to solve the defined problem and must adhere to the constraints provided. It wasn’t easy but it was fruitful.

Thoriq Rahman

Team Leader of the second year University College London team who achieved 2nd place in the 2019 Design Challenge National Final

On the day of the competition I felt excited and anxious that the robot might fail and let some people down…but most important was that I had a feeling of belonging.

Andrei Petrar

Part of the first year London South Bank University team who won the 2019 Regional Heat

I thoroughly enjoyed participating in the Design Challenge with my team. The Challenge helped me get comfortable working in a highly specific project with high standards. It was a lot of fun!

Joana Miranda

Part of the first year Middlesex University team who achieved 2nd place in the 2017 Design Challenge National Final

Industry Partner

This is a remarkable opportunity for industry leaders to join hands with us to support and uphold the future of young aspiring graduates by enabling them to gain real-industry experience, practical employability skills and enhanced business and people skills, all within a set time frame.

Enter the Challenge

The Design Challenge gives first and second year undergraduates a taste of the ‘real world’ of engineering, challenging them to design, create, present and run a device to a strict technical specification.

Enter the Challenge

Previous Winners

"More was learned from the manufacturing, prototyping and testing of our device including failures and successes, providing an understanding of real-world processes before the final reward of having a fully working product."