Current Industry Partners

  • Students

    As a student, you have two routes to enter the Design Challenge:

    • Curricular Route: Curricular teams are university-led, the Design Challenge is part of your university’s academic curriculum and is part of your teaching programme, where it typically forms part of your degree assessment. Your Academic Lead will guide you through the process of internal university qualifiers, after which the winners will go on to compete at the regional finals. You enter the Challenge using the online registration form..
    • Extracurricular Route: Extracurricular teams are student-led, independent of the university’s academic curriculum and the Design Challenge is not part of your teaching programme, nor is it part of your formal assessment. You can participate in the competition without an Academic Lead being assigned to you, but you will need an appropriate staff member to sign-off your safety documents. If you would like to compete as an extracurricular team, you will need to assign a Team Leader and get in touch with us at to confirm your extracurricular team status and to enable us to put you in touch with your Design Challenge regional lead who will be able to advise you of the next steps. Once your extracurricular status is confirmed with the IMechE team, you enter the Challenge using the online registration form.

    Regardless of the route you take, you can register your team online. You are also expected to cover the costs of the prototype and travel to the regional and national final if your team qualifies.

    The 2023 project is to build an internal pipe climber. Teams will be tasked with building an internal pipe-climbing robot. This is a device that can climb up the inside of a piece of vertical transparent tube lifting an increasing load, limited only by the cost and sizings listed in the competition specifications.

    To find out more about deliverables, deadlines and competition rules please make sure you consult the document library.


    How can your career benefit from this competition

    The Design Challenge helps students develop the following skills: project management and budgeting, team working and communication skills, leadership skills and practical design manufacturing and engineering skills.

    Our industry partners are always on the look-out for bright and enthusiastic graduates that show proactivity and participate in activities like Design Challenge. Participating in the Design Challenge gives exposure to industry professionals and helps build your CV. Many participants find that the challenge is one of the main points of discussion during job interviews.

    Every year, our industry partners hire the most talented and hard-working graduates that participate in the Design Challenge competition. More information about their graduate schemes can be found here.

    Finally, make sure you take advantage of the networking event at the National Final to connect with engineering professionals as well as other like-minded students.

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
  • Universities


    The Design Challenge provides students with unique exposure to the real world of engineering and helps put theory into practice. The competition prepares students for a career in engineering by equipping them with the right skills such as: project management and budgeting, team working and communication skills, leadership skills and practical design manufacturing and engineering skills.

    There are four different projects rolling year on year. In 2023, the Challenge will task students to build an internal pipe climber.

    To find more about deliverables, deadlines and competition rules please make sure you consult the document library.

    Integration with University Curriculum

    Engage and attract students to choose your degree course by integrating the competition as part of your academic curriculum. The Challenge encourages students to follow a system engineering process, through requirements generation, design, manufacture, verification, and the final validation at the competition event.


    Why register a team?

    • Generate a stronger pool of industry-ready young engineers by equipping them with the real-world engineering experience
    • Help students gain employability skills to secure a bright future
    • Complement and encourage academic excellence via an enriched contributor towards final projects; use it as a tool to attract, engage and motivate students
    • Accredit your course with the Institution and provide Professional Development options for your staff team
    • Engage industry partners in your curriculum and research activities

    For more information, please contact

2023 Competition Registration

Registration for Design Challenge 2023 opens on 27 October 2022.

If you would like to take part please complete our online registration form, or if you would like more information, contact us

Enter the Challenge
  • Follow us on social media

    Follow the Design Challenge Facebook and Twitter pages for regular updates about the competition, deadline reminders and much more. You are encouraged to create your own team social media accounts to join the conversation and post the story of your journey as you progress through the Challenge, but do remember to tag us – #IMechEDesignChallenge

    If there is anything you wish to see on the Design Challenge social media pages, please get in touch with your suggestions at

  • Become a Volunteer

    Applying for this position is simple: 

    If you would like to play a role in helping us develop and grow the Design Challenge competition, we want to hear from you!

    We are currently recruiting for passionate and enthusiastic volunteers to judge the Design Challenge regional finals, as well as the national final.

    We are looking to grow the competition to other regions in the UK. If you have good local or University connections and would like to run the Design Challenge competition in your area, please get in touch.

    About you

    • You are enthusiastic, happy to work with small diverse group of volunteers and academics; able to ask questions and be questioned by students
    • Have a basic understanding of the Design Challenge competition and Rules
    • Have excellent communication and organisational skills


    If this sounds like you and you would like to be part of a student competition that attracts over 3,000 students a year, please contact us at: