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City Wind Turbine Design Challenge showcases engineering talent

Keenly contested event provided test of creative problem solving abilities.
by John Stevenson

This year's City University London Wind Turbine Design Challenge was keenly contested.

The event took place from 5-8 November and was sponsored by management engineering and development consultancy, Mott MacDonald. It was organised by Professor Keith Pullen and Dr Youyou Yan.

wind turbine challenge 2012The Challenge offered ten tutor groups of between five to seven first-year undergraduate engineering students the opportunity to design, make and test a small wind turbine for lifting a 2kg weight.

Each tutor group was sub-divided into three teams, responsible in turn for: Team Alpha (3D twisted turbine rotor blades); Team Beta (Compound gearbox transmission); and Team Gamma (Tower using uncooked spaghetti).

Staged in the Oliver Thompson Lecture Theatre, the group winners this year were: Ovais Ahmed, Darvesh Bungsraz, Irshad Hajee Oomar, Thusa Muruganathan, Alex Foden and Juskaran Kaur Bains. They won an overall prize of £120. Cash prizes of £30 were also awarded for the best component in each category. Professor of Energy Systems Keith Pullen, who is also joint head of the Energy Systems and Engines Group, said:

"This year's challenge was a fantastic opportunity for first year students to get a feel for the kind of creative problem solving that engineers are actively engaged in. They also got to experience the dynamics of good teamwork, excellent exposure to research facilities such as the workshops and wind-tunnel, as well as interaction with many staff."

wind turbine challengeRenewable Energy Engineer, Rene Lindeboom, who represented sponsor Mott MacDonald at the event said: "Every year we see improvements in the Challenge that are obviously as a result of the right support given by City University staff. This year a talented group of undergraduate engineering students demonstrated plenty of enthusiasm and delivered beyond expectations."

Judges included Professor of Instrumentation and Sensors, Sanowar Khan; Richard Basch (Chief Operating Officer of the School of Engineering and Mathematics and the School of Informatics); and Tim Young (Head of Marketing at the School of Engineering and Mathematics and the School of Informatics).

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City, University of London is an independent member institution of the University of London. Established by Royal Charter in 1836, the University of London consists of 18 independent member institutions with outstanding global reputations and several prestigious central academic bodies and activities.