Young engineers face drone 'fly-off' challenge

Issue date: 13 June 2017

A team of nine engineering students from the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) will design and build an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS), also known as a drone, as part of an annual competition run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems Challenge 2017 will see the young engineers develop their drones before taking on other teams in a 'fly-off' next week, where they will be challenged to transport a package as accurately and rapidly as possible.

Ciara Tang, a member of the UWE Bristol team, said: “Taking part in this challenge gives us the opportunity to demonstrate our technical, engineering design and manufacturing skills.

“As young engineers, the experience will help us to become well equipped for a long lasting career in engineering.”

John Turton, Chairman of the UAS Challenge, said: “Industry and academia interest in the UAS Challenge has grown rapidly since our first competition in 2015.

“For 2017 we are expanding the international dimension with more teams being invited from overseas. Going forward we are seeking to engage more industry leaders to partner us in a range of aspects. For organisations, this continues to be a remarkable opportunity to join hands with the institution to support and uphold the future of the aerospace industry.

“The competition gives access to a pipeline of job-ready young engineers experienced in practical skills and enhanced people skills, delivers profiled and relevant brand exposure and facilitates being part of a growing network of industry leaders that promote innovation.”

Teams from 20 universities – including three overseas institutions – will take part in the competition. The fly-off event takes place on 19 and 20 June at Snowdonia Aerospace Centre, Llanbedr Airfield.

Now in its third year, the UAS Challenge is the fourth student engineering challenge event run by the institution, following Formula Student, the Railway Challenge and the Design Challenge.

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