One of the highlights of the festival was the presentation of original ideas by students, including startups proposing sustainable solutions. These solutions ranged from innovative solar panels to help UEL transition to net-zero, to UAVs with an increased range used for innovative applications, and engineering solutions focused on improving the quality of life for the elderly.
Ayomide Idowu, a mechanical engineering undergraduate, reflected on the experience of learning from other projects, “It has been great seeing how other students solve the same challenges. The biggest challenge was our lack of experience, but we researched a lot to make it happen.”
The festival also featured the EWB design challenge, where students worked in small teams to develop solutions for the well-being of people in rural Cambodia. The top five teams from the showcase were selected to represent UEL in the EWB national competition in April 2024, with a prize of £2,000 for the winning team.
A panel of industry experts, including professionals from engineering company Atkins Realis, technical legal experts Diales, housebuilder Berkeley Homes, technical professional services firm Jacobs, and the Institution of Civil Engineers judged the projects, saying they were impressed with the students' high standard of research, application, and presentation skills.
Dr Mike Hurst, senior lecturer in engineering and construction highlighted the importance of real-life projects for students, citing their collaboration with EWB. The projects addressed critical issues, ranging from simple water treatment facilities to the manufacture of hemp walling materials.
The festival also featured impressive poster displays and presentations, providing a platform for the students to exhibit their creativity, technical expertise, and problem-solving abilities.