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The Global Design Challenge (GDC) module is compulsory 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. It is one of the most valuable learning experiences for these students in their entire degrees and we are looking to expand it to other degree subjects. In terms of motivating students at Sussex, the contribution of Engineers in Business was crucial.
Around 400 students working in interdisciplinary teams of five members tackled real-world sustainable development problems during 20 to 24 January 2020. Each team developed a creative design solution based on design areas suggested by Engineers Without Borders UK.

Both faculty and management at Sussex believe that this module is a paradigm of what students need to learn in 2020 and would like to express their gratitude to Engineers in Business for their support.

Winner: left to right - Max Lowrie, Computing for Digital Engineering; Jimmy-Luca Medici-Wainwright, Mechanical Engineering with Robotics; Professor Jonathan Bacon, the Head of School, Engineering & Informatics; Isaac Baldwin, Computer Science; Ben Robinson, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Team member, Zaid Albasha, International Student, Engineering is not pictured - £1,100 Engineers in Business Prize

The winning group wase set the challenge of the problem of energy. Their concept was to make solar panels from recycled products. This would employ wooden pallets as frames, old plastic bottles as the elements with aluminium cooking foil as the reflective elements behind them. The storage tank was placed higher than the panel so that the heated water would circulate by the thermo-syphon principle and there would be no need for a pump.

To the judges, this seemed practical, green, and a local solution. The winners' presentation convinced us that they had thought though a great many practical details as well as providing a solution that was community-centred.
Second Place Winner: left to right - Nauris Kalnins, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence; Professor Jonathan Bacon, Head of School, Engineering & Informatics and Joshua Harris, Computer Science. Team members Amir SI Fargalla, Mechanical Engineering; Michael Solomon, Mechanical Engineering and Zhaoyi XU an international student studying Computing are not pictured - £600 Engineers in Business Prize

The team suggested a digital solution to reduce waste. The idea was to let the community share and increase knowledge about the life-cycle of waste and how it can be recycled. This was deemed very innovative as digital solutions and waste are not normally thought of together. It also put local people in the centre of the solution, rather than dropping in technology from outside.
Third Place Winner: left to right - Reece Sanyaolu, Electrical and Electronic Engineering ; Professor Jonathan Bacon, Head of School, Engineering & Informatics and Joe Todd, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence. Team members, Alex Davis, Computer Science; Harris Liu, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence, and Ruizhi NI, international student, Engineering are not pictured - £340 Engineers in Business Prize

The team produced a well thought-out design for a portable composting toilet., and cost two options, a factory-built version for £380 and a DIY version for 62% less.

Positive Feedback

The Engineers in Business prize fund of £3,000 for this year’s Global Design Challenge was vital to the way we organised the module at Sussex. More importantly, it encouraged the students to develop relevant skills such as integration of social, environmental and economic sustainability into the product design process, and to understand the importance of community consultation and involving users for the evaluation of products and designs.

Dr Blay Whitby, Module Convenor