Coventry showcases engineering excellence at industry event

Student with robotic arm

Razvan Ionesca, a third year computer hardware and software engineering student at Coventry University, works on his movement aiding and rehabilitation controller.

University news

Friday 07 March 2014

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The engineers of the future will be showcasing their skills at an industry backed competition at Coventry University this month.

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) Prize Award Evening will take place at the University’s iconic Engineering and Computing Building from 6pm to 9pm on Tuesday 18 March. 

Co-sponsored by Coventry University and a specialist IET network – the Midlands Power Group - the competition, which takes place in Coventry for the third year running, is open to engineering students at universities across the Midlands region.

The fiercely contested event, which the Lord Mayor of Coventry will be attending, includes entries from the Coventry, Aston, Birmingham, Staffordshire, Warwick universities as well as the Open University.

A panel of professional experts will assess the student submissions and reward those which offer creative, workable solutions to contemporary engineering challenges. Prizes will be awarded in categories ranging from sustainability and the environment through to communications and transport.

The IET competition encourage students to apply their engineering skills for the wider benefit of society and amongst the innovative prototypes on show at last year’s competition was a computer controlled teddy bear. With an integrated touch screen, microphone, speakers and pressure sensors, the teddy bear was designed to help children with special learning needs.

This year’s contest promises similarly exciting concepts including a technologically advanced armband that analyses the nervous system. The movement aiding and rehabilitation controller (MARC) is a sensory tool which monitors nerve signals from the lower arm in order to model hand movements.

The applications of wearable intelligent sensors like the MARC are huge and cover a spectrum of uses, from physiotherapy and rehabilitation through to remote robotic control and recreational environments, particularly in the world of computer gaming.

Sustainable and miniature scale engineering techniques will also feature with an adaptive system which utilises solar energy harvesting techniques for micro-power electronics and an insect robot that physically interacts with its surroundings amongst the other projects on show.

Robert Jinks, programme manager of Coventry University’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering courses and Honorary Secretary of the IET Midlands Power Group, is coordinating the award evening.

Robert said:

We’re delighted at Coventry University to be hosting this prestigious competition. It is high praise indeed for the University to have won the triple endorsement of the IET, industry and Coventry City Council, via the Lord Mayor who will visit on the evening.

I’m so pleased to see that, as in previous years, the standard of the work submitted by the students has been excellent in all respects. It’s a great challenge for them to put their skills to the test under professional conditions and to industry standards but it’s also an experience that will enhance their future career prospects.

The students have responded superbly to the test that they have been set and I am confident that their efforts, which we’re proud to show off at the event on 18 March, will underline the reputation of the Midlands and Coventry University as centres of engineering excellence.