Coventry University students win the EWB Challenge

Student news

Wednesday 11 July 2012

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Coventry University engineering students recently emerge victorious after beating more than 2000 competitors to win first prize in the EWB Challenge, run by Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB).

EWB are an international organisation that removes barriers to development through engineering. They provide opportunities for young people to learn about technology's role in tackling poverty and helping developing countries.

The EWB Challenge was pioneered by EWB Australia, and now offers UK students the chance to develop sustainable engineering solutions that could help improve the quality of life for people in developing countries.

This year’s winning team focussed their design on a community and health centre for an area in southern India – creating a clever, technical building that understood the contexts of its environment.

The scheme includes a timber and brick construction with bamboo roof. Materials were combined to achieve a hygienic and well ventilated building that incorporates sustainable elements and use of local materials. Inside it features wall partitions that can be removed to help airflow and temperature control, allowing them to then be put back when needed in the monsoon season.

Thirty universities took part in the EWB Challenge finals held at the University of Liverpool in mid June, including three teams from Coventry University. 

The four winning Structural Engineering with Architecture students, Lorraine Blanks, Katy Liddell, Rebecca Rabjohns and Robert Frostick, will now enjoy a trip to India to spend a month in a summer school.

David Trujillo, Senior Lecturer in Civil Engineering, said:

We are very proud of what has been achieved by our students. EWB Challenge is a student competition based on the sort of real life problems faced by communities throughout the world, and therefore we believe that their success reflects the sound preparation for the challenges of the 21st century we are giving our students. Their triumph motivates us to continue promoting humanitarian engineering as a core characteristic of our courses.