School of Engineering News
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Engineering Society team wins Engineering Challenge at the National Engineering and Construction Recruitment Exhibition
Last year the Engineering Society entered one team of undergraduate students in the Engineering Challenge competition and came second. Determined to do better the Society entered three teams, each of which included students from all years. Hope Cansdale, Eli Gumble, Rupert Barnard and Lloyd Danaher came away with the top prize of £500 at the Exhibition on 23rd November 2012. The prize was sponsored by Assystems, an engineering services consulting firm and a key partner to the world's largest industrial groups: Airbus, Areva, Alstom, EDF, EADS, General Electric, MTU, Peugeot, Renault, Rolls Royce, Safran, Thales.
The challenge this year was to build a propeller from a single sheet of aluminium to power a wind powered car. The teams had just two sessions of 45 minutes to design and build their propellers. The cars were then tested in a wind tunnel. The secret of Warwick's success was to take a systematic approach to the design process and use the first 45 minute session to evaluate the number of propeller blades needed to achieve the fastest speed. The second 45 minutes was then used to refine and test the chosen design. The team experimented with designs using 9, 8, 4 and 3 blades and established that the 4 blade design was the fastest. A key factor in the second session was to ensure that the car could travel in a straight line in the wind tunnel. The dangers of not thoroughly testing your design was demonstrated by a competing team whose car was faster but failed because it could not travel in a straight line and hence was unable to complete the course in the wind tunnel. The Warwick car completed the course in 6.28 seconds, with second place achieving 8.7 seconds and the majority of other teams coming around 11 second, nearly 40% slower than the Warwick car.
Congratulations to Eli Gumble, Hope Cansdale, Lloyd Danaher and Rupert Barnard, and all the other Engineering Society members that took part and demonstrated that Warwick students are the best!