Global Engineering Design Solutions Challenge 2018

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Competition event
21 September 2018 00:00 - 30 November 2018 00:00
This event has finished

Water is life. Water is the new oil. Water is the power of mankind in the future.

Water is the driving force of all nature, unfortunately for our planet; supplies are now running dry at an alarming rate. The world’s population continues to soar but that rise in numbers has not been matched by an accompanying increase in supplies of fresh water. The real problem in a larger sense is not a lack of water; the oceans are full of it. It is the shortage of water that is available, and pure enough, to drink. Just 2.5 percent of the world’s water is fresh water, and less than 1 percent of that is accessible.

Almost all the rest is frozen in glaciers or buried deep underground. The consequences are proving to be profound. Across the globe, reports reveal huge areas in crisis today as reservoirs and aquifers dry up. More than a billion individuals, one in seven people on the planet, now lack access to safe drinking water. Over the past years, water technologists have been working hard on two big challenges: squeezing more drinkable water from the oceans of water already out there and devising new ways to use, and waste less of the water we already have. Nevertheless, there is still a great potential for improvement.

By 2025, it is estimated that two-thirds of the world’s population will live in water-stressed areas, concentrated in the Middle East, North Africa, and western Asia, according to the World Resources Institute, (source: National Geographic).

The challenge
The IMechE Global Engineering Design Solutions Challenge is an engineering design competition for Young Members of the Institution. The competition aims to address real-world problems through engineering design projects and give solutions to their related challenges. Each competing entrant/team will produce a design that should be production ready. The competitors must function individually or as a team to design and promote their ideas, build, test and compete with a functional prototype within the limit of the competition rules.

This year's theme seeks ingenuity for the future crisis on drinkable water.

More information can be found on our website

This year's competition, which opens on 21 September 2018, compromises of two stages:

Stage one

Closing date: 30 November 2018

Stage one is a written design proposal to solve the water crisis highlighted above. Entrants shall submit a technical paper of their designs based on the brief outlined. The five technical papers with the highest awarded judge scores will advance to the second stage of the competition

Download detailed stage one guidance.

Stage two
The five technical papers that progress to stage two will have the opportunity to build their prototype. IMechE will provide a grant of up to £100 GBP per entrant/team to help with material costs for the prototype. Participants are expected to create a 10-minute video which includes a presentation and footage of the working prototype.

After Stage two closes the judges will select an overall winner and runner-up. Participants will be judged on innovation, feasibility to upscale the prototype and presentation quality.

The Stage two deadline will be released after stage one winners have been announced in November 2018.

How do I enter?

Each entrant/team must submit the Stage One technical paper to

- Guidance for stage one must be followed, this contains full entry requirements

- All entries must be accompanied with a completed and signed application form.

The competition is open to all Young Members of the Institution Affiliates, Associates or any member who has been professionally registered for less than 10 years.

Submissions can be made individually or as part of a team (three people max). If entering as a team, at least one participant must be a Young Member of IMechE.

Prize details
After stage two has closed the judging panel will select an overall winner and overall runner-up from the five entrants/teams. Winners will be featured in the Institution News and World Bulletin newsletters, read by over 63,000 people across the world.

Overall winner: £500
Overall runner-up: £300
Both receive an IMechE official certificate.

If you are interested in entering the competition, please download the full competition guidance for both stages.

If you have any questions please contact the competition organisers


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William Hesser
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