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Brunel University students win this year’s Engineering Insight prize

Brunel UniversityFour final year B.Eng students at Brunel University took on a design brief from leading global water technology provider Xylem in a new initiative aimed at promoting closer links between industry and academic institutions.

Xylem’s Engineering Insight programme engages with mechanical engineering students studying at iMechE accredited institutions, providing them with real world design engineering experience using products from Xylem’s global brand portfolio and based on actual scenarios. The EI Engineering Award is given for a group project and there is also a prize for an outstanding individual student. All participating students receive a copy of Engineering Formulas by Kurt Geick.

Project criteria for the group EI Engineering Award is set by Xylem Flow Control’s engineering department and the best submission selected by Xylem engineers. Two teams of Brunel students elected to work on the challenge Xylem presented for their final year three-month project. The brief from Roger Bartlett, Head of UK Engineering at Xylem’s Flow Control business, was to design and develop a device to act as a safety mechanism to protect downstream equipment on oil rigs within a target production cost of £70 per unit.

The winning team was judged to have analysed the brief to come up with a practical product specification, applied engineering CAD software tools in the most effective manner and utilized existing manufacturing techniques to meet all the criteria within budget.

Bartlett said, “The winners demonstrated outstanding depth of skills and commitment throughout, including generating several concepts at the start of the project and selecting a pragmatic design which integrated the functions of two valves in a production-viable manner. The team’s reporting and adherence to budget were also excellent.”

At the prize giving ceremony held at Brunel University, Alistair Jay, Andrew Smith, Mihir Meetarbhan and Robert Ludeks were congratulated by Professor H. Zhao, Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, Dr Cairns and Dr. Ian Gilchrist, Lecturer at Brunel. Andy Sealey of Xylem presented the winners with engraved green crystal trophies, a Samsung Galaxy tablet with case, the latest Kindle e-reader and engraved Parker pens.

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