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Students take the honours!

The UK's students have excelled once again when it comes to demonstrating their remarkable engineering design skills. Here, we profile the outstanding projects singled out by the IED's Education and Training Committee as most deserving of the institution's top student prizes for 2015

A team from the University of Strathclyde were winners of the IED Group Prize for their Chieftain Cradle project. The final design provides a safe and secure method of transporting a motorbike. It combines reliable operation with ease of use to create a product unlike any other currently on the market.

The rigid chassis ensures the cradle is capable for supporting the weight of any bike likely to be encountered on UK roads, and has excellent adjustability to facilitate the mounting of a wide range of motorbike widths and lengths. The front and rear chocks coupled with the side supports ensure that the motorbike is completely constrained during transportation and provides an effective alternative to the flawed ratchet strap securing method.

The body of the cradle portrays a high quality image as well as providing protection against impacts, whilst the off road tyres and good ground clearance equip the cradle with impressive off road capabilities. The handle and integrated braking system give the user full control of the speed and direction of travel, and the innovative van mounting system enables quick and easy securing of the cradle upon the load bay of a transportation vehicle.

The Chieftain Cradle Team:

Caroline Brown

Caroline is studying Product Design Engineering, now entering her fifth year. She spent the summer as a 2015 Saltire Scholar, an experience that has allowed her to build upon and develop various skills. Throughout her university career, her many projects have been recognised for their high standard and creativity.

Mandy Cheung

Mandy Cheung is a 5th year undergraduate student, studying MEng Product Design Engineering. A hard-working and determined student, she was awarded a distinction in her penultimate year. Throughout university, she has taken part in various team roles within and outside her degree, which included actively participating within the University of Strathclyde's Student Association as Vice President of Hong Kong Society. With her contribution, the society was awarded a STAR Award for the Faith and Culture Society of the Year, world.

Amy Currie

Amy, 22, recently graduated with a BEng in Product Design Engineering, and is currently working in Edinburgh on a two-year KTP (Knowledge Transfer Partnerships) programme between Pentland Precision Ltd and Heriot Watt University as a business systems engineer. She intends to continue on to a Masters or a PhD during this KTP project.

Angus Thomson

Angus, 21, is currently completing his final year of MEng Product Design Engineering. Over the summer, he completed a summer placement at Allied Vehicles in Glasgow where he worked as part of their engineering and development team. Following university, he is hoping to begin employment within the renewable energy or automotive industries.

The inspiration for Louie Ray Amphlett's Lenza Helmet project started with his father, who has been riding bikes for the last 35 years and suffers from poor hearing. "I ride, too," says the University of Brighton student, "and understand the issue of noise while riding [my love for bikes prompted me to focus on this area for my final year degree project]. After researching the subject, I found that wind noise causes the most significant level of hearing damage while riding at speed."

How does the Lenza Helmet work?

"Well there is no short answer," he states. "However, it has three key features that help to reduce wind noise: the elongated form; use of a suspended shell; and a dimpled surface. The suspension enables a degree of vibration absorption, which actively reduces the random pressure fluctuations on the surface. These fluctuations are vibrations sent through the structure of the helmet, through the riders' skull and to the mastoid bone, causing the most significant level of damage."

Research published by Michael Carley, et al, led Louie to these conclusions. "The dimples and the elongated form enable a reduction of wake [turbulent flow] at the rear of the helmet--this again is a key source of noise. The dimples and shape also have aerodynamic benefits."

How much testing has been performed?

"I have performed a couple of primitive tests in the wind tunnel. However, more precise measurement techniques are required to determine the extent to which the helmet will reduce noise. I also performed a CFD [computational fluid dynamics] study, which focused on the aerodynamic factor. It resulted in a 7.7% less turbulent flow at the rear of the helmet, in comparison with a market-leading helmet." The turbulent flow not only increases drag, but also is a key source of noise.


Jennifer MacDougall spent three years studying Sports Engineering at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow before taking a gap year in order to do a placement and gain some industry experience. She worked in the adidas Running Footwear Development team at their headquarters in Herzogenaurach, Germany. During this time, she was involved in a mix of inline shoes and projects to increase her knowledge of the footwear creation process.

Following this, she returned to university for her final year and completed a project on adidas footwear. It focused on the sub brand ClimaCool, a successful range of climate controlled footwear and apparel. The aim was to create a more internal ventilation system, allowing the cooling effects of the existing technology to be retained, while overcoming the issue of water entering the shoe through the air inlets.

Having now graduated, Jennifer's focus has remained on the footwear development industry and she is a fulltime developer in the New Balance footwear team.

"Over 18% of the global population has moderate, severe or extreme difficulty with walking," points out Cara O'Sullivan, of Brunei University. "The global need for walking aids is set to keep rising as the population grows and ages. Whether it's a walking stick, crutches or a walking fame, it is important that people are provided with the correct type of support as their conditions change, in order to prevent further injury or falls. In rural developing regions of the world, access to walking aids is extremely limited, particularly for children, which can prevent them from getting an education and participating in their community."

The Evolvable Walking Aid Kit has been designed to offer a long-term and affordable solution to mobility rehabilitation across developing regions of the world. "The kit consists of a set of locally manufacturable parts made from half a wooden pallet and up to 24 cable ties, which can be assembled to form a walking frame, crutches or a walking stick," she explains. "The whole kit can be locally produced in a sustainable manner, using simple hand tools for just 68 pence, making it accessible to people in developing regions of the world living on less than $2 a day and hence reducing their dependence on charity aid."

In order to gather crucial contextual insights, Cara collaborated with mobility organisations around the world and visited a rehabilitation centre in rural Peru to conduct ethnographic research. Cara is currently working at the Central Research Laboratory in Hayes, the UK's first purpose-built facility dedicated to entrepreneurial makers, where she is developing a similar design to reduce the cost of mobility rehabilitation in the UK.


While at the University of Strathclyde, Catherine Cairns commuted regularly by train, during which time she frequently witnessed the difficulties hospitality staff faced serving food and drink to passengers -as they regularly struggled to reach certain items and often burnt themselves.

"My project aimed to create an improved hospitality trolley, which has better performance, ergonomics and aesthetics, compared to the current design. As a result, the improved version has better storage capacity, is tailored to the needs of staff, improves safety and security, and includes more advertising and branding features," she states.

Since graduating in July with a 1st class Honours degree in Product Design and Innovation, as well as the BSc courses prize from the University of Strathclyde, Catherine has secured a year's internship, working at Chivas

Brothers in new product development. She then hopes to return to Strathclyde to complete a Master's degree in Design Engineering with Sustainability.
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Title Annotation:IED PRIZE WINNERS
Publication:Engineering Designer
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 1, 2015
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