The Design Challenge gives students from universities and university technical colleges (UTCs) a taste of ‘real world’ engineering, challenging them to design, create, present and run a device to a strict technical specification.
The Challenge enables participants to gain realistic industry experience, practical employability skills and enhanced business and people skills, all within a set time frame. It is intended to complement the academic curriculum and may be used by participants towards their official projects, or alternatively as an extra-curricular activity.
The Challenge is open to teams of up to five students from universities or UTCs. Teams in the UK will compete in regional competitions from March to June, leading to a national final for the regional winners, hosted at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in London, at the start of the following academic year.
Each year students are challenged to undertake a specific project.
This year, the project brief is to build a repeatable vehicle. The vehicle can be any movable device – wheeled, walking, sliding, jumping, rolling or other. It must move from a point on a flat surface to touch a wall placed at right angles to the point and then return to stop as close as possible to the start point. The device is to be started manually, but once it is underway, no interference or outside control is allowed. The project represents the first stages of a robotic device that could be used for materials handling purposes. The device can be of any construction and propulsion method, limited only by cost and size (the finer details of which will be shared in September).
We are very pleased to announce that from 2024, students from university technical colleges (UTCs) are now invited to compete in the Foundation Class (formerly known as the First Year Competition) alongside students in the first year of their undergraduate degree.
We are also delighted to announce the Advanced Class (formerly known as the Second Year Competition) is now open to any student wishing to participate, from UTC to the final year of an undergraduate degree. Mixed-year teams from the same educational establishment are welcome.
We will also be adding in a Concept class as well which will be open to all entrants up to the first year of their undergraduate degree (full details to follow).
For the 2024 competition we will be running a series of webinars throughout the year, which will be accessible to all entrants to help maximise your chances of success.
What’s to come?
We will open registrations for the 2024 competition in October 2023.
Full device specifications will be released in September 2023. Visit the Competition Centre to download the Design Challenge 2024 documents.
Please see the timeline below for further information.
The competition timeline:
- September 2023 – Full device specifications released
- October 2023 – Registrations open
- January 2024 – Registrations close
- February 2024 to March 2024– Curricular teams build their prototypes and compete with other teams in internal university qualifiers. The winners qualify to compete at the regional finals.
Extracurricular teams qualify for the regional final automatically.
- March 2024 to June 2024 – Regional finals currently take place in the following UK regions: GLR, Midlands, North East, North West, Wessex, Yorkshire, Wales & Scotland. N.B. If teams from other regions wish to participate, this is welcomed. The regional winners are invited to compete in the National Final.
- October 2024 – National final takes place and the Grand Champion is awarded.
Want to get involved:
- If you are keen to get involved and learn more then please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to provide further information.