The new normal has called for flexibility and patience as events and meetings get postponed or moved online. Here at Engineers Without Borders UK it is no different as we prepare for one of our busiest and most exciting months of the year, with both the Engineering for People Design Challenge and Efficiency for Access Design Challenge progressing into their Grand Final phases.

Both Design Challenge Grand Finals are now taking place online across a series of virtual events, from students pitching to an expert panel of judges via Zoom to off-grid industry professionals providing their time during virtual facilitated networking sessions; everyone is adapting.

Although we are missing the opportunity to meet the students who have created some truly inspired designs in person, our new virtual format provides more opportunities for our community to play a part in our award winning Design Challenge.

Firstly, you can engage with the Engineering for People Design Challenge by exploring the top 37 design ideas on our website, and subsequently casting your vote for the People’s Prize! Alongside our traditional winners and runners up prizes which will be awarded to teams who make it to the top six, we also have an opportunity for any of the other teams from the top 37 to win the People’s Prize decided by public vote. To attend this session live or see the full agenda click here!

Moreover, to compliment the concepts embedded throughout the Engineering for People Design Challenge and discuss a common theme seen across headlines regarding the sector, we are holding a panel discussion on Wednesday 1 July, 11am-12pm (BST), covering Big engineering, local content: The importance of community consultation. Simply sign up here to be the first to learn about our panelists and have the opportunity to send in any questions you would like the panel to explore. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Engineering for People Design Challenge would not be possible without, primarily, the academics up and down the country who run the Design Challenge throughout the year, then without the help of over 200 reviewers from across the world, and finally our pool of judges who comprise the expert panels during the pitching phase of this year’s challenge. Our judges represent a myriad of experiences from working in Makers Valley, this year’s Design Challenge location to Investment Managers and senior engineers. Thank you to everyone who has provided their time and expertise during this year’s Design Challenge.

The Efficiency for Access Design Challenge supported by Engineers Without Borders UK is a global, multi-disciplinary competition that empowers teams of university students to help accelerate clean energy access. The competition started in September 2019, with participating teams from nine universities in the UK, Kenya, Uganda and Bangladesh. Teams include Durham University, Independent University of Bangladesh, Loughborough University, Makerere University, Strathmore University, Swansea University, University of Bath, University College London and the University of Strathclyde. Students are working in teams to deliver design and innovation projects, which focus on high-performing off-grid appliances and supporting technologies. The aim of the projects is to improve the efficiency, affordability, inclusivity and market-readiness of off-grid appliances for end-users. Participating teams submitted their projects in April. This year the Grand Final is culminating virtually on the Thursday 25 June, 10am-1pm (BST), where the winning teams will be announced, we will host an engaging?panel discussion and facilitate a live Q&A. Join us to learn more about the winning design, hear from off-grid industry experts and pose your questions.

We can’t wait to highlight the outstanding work that transpires during both Grand Finals events, but most importantly we are so excited to see how the participants take their learnings from these Design Challenges and embed them into their future engineering practice.

Until then, we hope to see you very soon at one of our virtual events taking place over the next few weeks!