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The Global Design Challenge is a module for all first-year students studying Engineering, Informatics, and Product Design at the School of Engineering and Informatics, and students from the International Study Centre. Some 450 students worked in interdisciplinary teams of five members to tackle real-world sustainable development problems. Each team developed a creative design solution based on design areas suggested by Engineers Without Borders UK.

This year’s design challenge focused on the rural communities of the state of Tamil Nadu in South India. People in rural areas suffer the impacts of poor water and sanitation provision, a lack of waste management, limited transport and digital infrastructure, as well as unreliable energy provision.
Winner: Tala Haddadin, Computer Science; Cara Griffiths, BSc Computing for Digital Media with an industrial placement year; Matthew Meyers, BEng Mechanical Engineering with an industrial placement year; Lee Richards, Computer Science; Sophie Court, Mechanical Engineering - £1,100 Engineers in Business Prize

The team designed an inexpensive, compostable sanitary towel made of cotton, potato, and tapioca, to help women stay in work and school and reduce the stigma of menstruation.

Cara Griffiths said, “The EIBF sponsorship really encouraged participants to develop a competitive edge and have a strong desire to come up with the best possible solution.”
Second Place Winner: Alexander Coetzee, BSc Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence; Dani Fayad, BEng Mechanical Engineering with an industrial placement year; Joshua Harwood, BSc Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence; Haotian Jiao, International Year One Computing; Gabriel Robson, BSc Product Design with an industrial placement year – £600 Engineers in Business Prize

The team developed an idea to adapt petrol tuk-tuks to use electric batteries at a fraction of the cost of buying a new vehicle to reduce pollution and increase take-up of electric transport.
Highly Commended: Gemma Hill, BSc Product Design with an industrial placement year; Molly Brown, BSc Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence with an industrial placement year; Arya Diznabi, BSc Computer Science, Guohao Yan, International Year One Computing - £120 Engineers in Business Prize

The team created a recyclable paper and cotton face mask to offer better protection from pollution.

Positive Feedback

We would like to thank the EIBF for providing a prize fund of £3,000 for this year’s Global Design Challenge. This sponsorship encouraged students to develop the right skills, such as integration of social, environmental and economic sustainability, into the product design process; to understand the importance of community consultation and to involve users for evaluating products and designs.
Dr Chang Wang, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, University of Sussex