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Siemens announces SustainaCity Racer challenge winners

19th January 2022
Caroline Hayes

The virtual event involved 50 students and graduates from 15 UK universities who presented ideas for an intelligent, sustainable and interconnected network for a fictional city. In addition to a trophy, a £250 Amazon voucher, the winners were offered interviews for internship and graduate roles.

Competitors were challenged to design a transport system using a variety of transport types for citizens living in different environments.

Participants were put into hybrid, multi-disciplinary teams and challenged to apply engineering, digital and commercial elements to their designs.

The winning group, Eco Made Easy, proposed using a hyperloop tunnel and hydrofoil water vessel as the main transport, an app using real-time transport data and AI to map fastest, cheapest and most sustainable journeys, and an innovative POD transport which combines rail and bus.

The team included: Bagha Charuduth (Bsc in Computer Science at the University of Sheffield); Sarah Kelly (Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Automotive at the University of Bath); Hannah Pope (Computer Science at the University of York); Jake Sawyer (Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University); Boon Kean Teo (Msc in Electronics and Computer Engineering at the University of Sheffield); Thisura Wijayananda (Electronic Engineering with Management at King's College London); Daniel Wilcox (Automotive Engineering at the University of Bath); and Tom Woodburn (MEng in Design Engineering at Imperial College London).

Hannah Pope, 20, studying Computer Science at the University of York, said “I believe sustainability is an important consideration for ensuring the quality of our future. Using aspects of my degree to explore and develop solutions with regard to transport appealed to me.

“I enjoyed every moment from the brainstorming to presenting our final solution. 

“Before this competition, I was very focused on software engineering and pure computer science, but this competition has really opened my eyes to how other engineering disciplines fit together.”

Competition judges were Thomas Edwards from Siemens Digital Industries, Nikhil Patel from Siemens Smart Infrastructure, and Sophie Marshall-Unit, Charbel Khalil, Hannah Surguy, Miles Moran and Ewan Bradley from Siemens Mobility.

Thomas Edwards, a graduate engineer for Siemens Digital Industries, said: “

“We were extremely impressed with all 50 of the participants and the outstanding ideas they came up with to respond to the task of innovating in a new age of connected mobility that allows people to move more intelligently and sustainably.”

“All the contestants showed exemplary collegiate behaviour and co-operated with their team members in the race to win the top spot”. He added that the judges were impressed with the creation of user stories which meant the needs of passengers were always at the forefront of decision making. “Their wildcard proposition of a train/pod solution captivated all of the judges,” he added.

The two runners-up groups ‘TelePods’ and ‘Save the World’, also won opportunities to apply for internships and graduate roles at Siemens.

From ‘TelePods’ Morgan Gillingham (Meng in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southampton) said: “I have had a longstanding interest in how engineering can be applied to improving sustainability. I really enjoyed getting to work with students from a range of backgrounds, universities and degree subjects, something that we don't often get exposed to.

“I think the experience has solidified my belief that I want to work in sustainable engineering, and I am thankful to Siemens for this opportunity.”

A total of 22 students and graduates were offered access to early career opportunities with Siemens’ Digital Industries, Smart Infrastructure, and Mobility businesses.

Pictured: members of Eco Made Easy -top (left to right) Boon Kean, Thisura Wijayananda, Hannah Pope, Daniel Wilcox, bottom row (left to right) Jake Sawyer, Sarah Kelly, Tom Woodburn, Charuduth Bagha

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