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In previous years the Engineers in Business Prize Fund was incorporated into an existing Start-up Awards. In 2021, a new tailormade initiative - the Inspired Engineers Award - was launched. The competition offered size prizes of £500, two for the Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering Departments. The brief and the timing of the competition allowed students to use or develop their curricular project work towards their entry. Alternatively, students could also enter their own independent start-up or innovation ideas. The key requirements were that entries would solve a problem with real-world impact and demonstrate collaboration with industry, technology-readiness or potential.
Winner of Architectural, Civil and Civil & Environmental Engineering: Hydrokinetic Vertical Axis Turbines, Stephanie Muller, PhD Student - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

To date, many people still lack access to affordable, reliable, sustainable energy, resulting in socio-economic inequality. Hydropower presents one renewable energy source whose potential is not yet fully used.

Initially deemed environmentally friendly, the tremendous environmental impacts of traditional, large-scale hydropower plants resulted in a greater focus on small-scale alternatives such as hydrokinetic vertical axis turbines (VAT).

Our project investigates the impact of twin vertical-axis turbine setups on wake hydrodynamics and fish movement using laboratory experiments.

Winner of Architectural, Civil and Civil & Environmental Engineering: Self-initiating Fire-Retardant Cladding, Jack Willepotte - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

This concept uses stored rainwater as a fire suppression method for use on high rise buildings.

In the event of a fire, water vapour slows down and helps to extinguish a fire.

The idea incorporates a piping system into an easy to install, non-combustible building cladding, to provide a solution to the current problems surrounding fires in large, high-rise buildings.

Winner of Mechanical and Medical Engineering: The Plant Pal, Max Durow pictured on behalf of the team. Other Team members: Nathan Sturges, Joseph Sealey, Samuel Lewis, Charlie Ringrose, Azibataram Orubo and Arrmeila Jeyanathan - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

The main use of this product is to help improve the mental wellbeing of the user through interacting with the plant and the Plant Pal suggesting healthy lifestyle activities such as drinking water when you water the plant or going outside when the LDRs pick up more sunlight.

The team has designed and innovated the way that people interact with plants.

The Plant Pal will measure the plant’s health in real time and send notifications via an integrated app.

Winner of Mechanical and Medical Engineering: Dyno Bag, Jasper Gaskin pictured for the team. Other Team Members - Jesus Lancianese, Ellin Anegkana, Chris Mark and Benjamin Thornley - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

Thirty-six per cent of people complain that their food arrives cold/ not fresh. Currently, 80% of Deliveroo agents use a bike. There is no current technology that allows for the long-term heating of food in transport on a bicycle.

The Dyno Bag gives a renewable bicycle delivery bag heating solution, via a pair of dynamos and a battery. Moreover, two segments (hot/ cold) in the bag allow hot food and cold drinks to be delivered simultaneously.

Very little weight is added to the bag itself, keeping it light for the rider. Should the rider fall, the bag’s cabling can disconnect.

Winner of Electrical, Electronic and Integrated Engineering: Solutions for the decarbonisation of both energy generation and transport in UK Antarctic territories, Peter Marji is pictured on behalf of the team. Other Team Members - Rory Stuart, Ioannis Efthymiou, Daniel Ellis, Ahmed Kamal and Ahmed Yacob - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

This is a project collaboration between students at Cardiff University and the British Antarctic Survey to identify potential solutions for the decarbonisation of both energy generation and transport in UK Antarctic territories.

This primarily involves the transition to net-zero stand-alone microgrids utilising up to 90% renewables while maintaining security of supply.

Sensitivity studies are carried out to test the capability of the microgrid under critical scenarios.

The microgrid was designed to include NMC batteries, shrouded caged wind turbines and photovoltaic technologies with a transport avoid, shift and improve strategy established. 

Winner of Electrical, Electronic and Integrated Engineering: Automify - Digital Toolbox, Povilas Dumcius, PhD Student - £500 Engineers in Business Prize

Due to the inability to efficiently track and store tools, manufacturers lose millions of pounds annually as they become lost or stolen. Substantial companies of airplanes and cars have a strict protocol for dealing with their equipment due to the cost and safety regulations. However, most current tracking methods fail as they rely on human input.

Automify monitors when and who can get access to your toolboxes, as well as which tools/assets they have checked out.

Granularly configure user access using different methods: keycards, mobile app, and passcode.

Positive Feedback

We are grateful for the support of Engineers in Business Fellowship for its support of the Inspired Engineers Awards. I was amazed by the breadth of ideas generated from within the student body, and the level to which some of their innovations had already been developed, without any significant financial support. I'm looking forward to seeing what they do next.

Dr Samantha Jones
Student Services Manager
Cardiff School of Engineering