IMechE and Autodesk launch Design Challenge partnership

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers and software company Autodesk have agreed a partnership to support the Design Challenge, the Institution’s fastest growing competition for engineering students.

The partnership is marked by the launch of a new website for the 2021 Design Challenge which was built with support from Autodesk.

The Design Challenge brings together thousands of engineering students from universities across the UK who compete using their creativity and technical skills to solve a specific engineering problem.

“The Design Challenge emulates a real-life design and manufacture problem, including briefs, specifications, rules, teams and deadlines. It’s a fantastic challenge that prepares and tests students under pressurised situations,” said Autodesk Education Manager Steven Parkinson.

Design Challenge 2021 will bring together teams of first- and second-year university students to follow a system engineering process to develop, build and test a repeatable vehicle that could be used for bulk materials handling purposes. The competition is also supported by industry partners Mercedes AMG HPP and data storage company Mashoom.

The Challenge gives participants the chance to develop their engineering knowledge, soft skills and practical abilities with a real-world project. As a result, competitors gain direct experience of working in a team on an engineering project, making them highly desirable graduates to industry.

The Steering Group Chair Dr David Ball noted:” The competition covers the key requirements of a professional engineer and gives the students an insight into what will be expected of them when they graduate.”

Mark Galea, who was part of the Brunel University London team that won the 2019 National Final, added: “The Design Challenge is an excellent competition which allowed me and my teammates to apply all we had learned so far from our studies.”

Teams taking part in this year’s competition will also be able to access a portfolio of tools across the entire Autodesk Fusion 360 platform. Participants will apply the most modern technology such as Generative Design, in order to devise innovative solutions.

The Autodesk Fusion 360 platform creates a dynamic network, with an integrated platform that connects the entire product development and manufacturing ecosystem with a central, cloud-based model, eliminating the friction between people, activities and machines, so teams can collaborate seamlessly, and spend more time on innovation than iteration.

If you are a first/second year university student or an academic lead, be sure to visit the newly launched Design Challenge website to download the updated rules and technical specification documents, ahead of submitting your team information by the registration deadline of 15 November 2020.

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