Blackpool's energy college hosts first Lancashire Engineering Design Challenge

The first ever  Lancashire Engineering Design Challenge took place at the Lancashire Energy HQ by Blackpool and the Fylde College
The first ever Lancashire Engineering Design Challenge took place at the Lancashire Energy HQ by Blackpool and the Fylde College

Some of the finest young engineering minds in the county delivered presentations on sustainable transport solutions during a landmark event at Lancashire Energy HQ.

Blackpool and The Fylde College’s inaugural Lancashire Engineering Design Challenge saw five teams of students discuss the pros and cons of various fuel types and renewable energy sources in relation to vehicle propulsion.

Ahead of the challenge, the group heard a keynote speech from B&FC renewable energy lecturer Iftikhar Bolhari on trends and innovations within the sector.

They also heard from Nigel Whitaker, programme secretary at the Lancashire and Cumbria community of the Institution for Engineering and Technology, about the impact engineers have had on modern society.

Dr Abdelrahman Abdelazim, curriculum manager for Engineering at B&FC, said: “This was an excellent event which allowed the young engineers involved to look into the future and see how we might continue to travel on our roads and motorways as traditional combustion engines are phased out.

“The teams were challenged to come up with viable solutions which the automotive industry may be considering to ensure the transportation of goods and people will be able to continue unhindered in the future.

“Some of the solutions discussed involved hydrogen fuel, photovoltaic technology and battery storage advancements which are at the cutting edge of thinking in this field.

“It was gratifying to see the teams had a good initial understanding of the issues at the heart of the challenge and the research capabilities to allow them to come up with potential solutions.

“We are now hoping to be able to run this as an annual event, in association with the IET, and bring together some of the finest young engineering brains in the county to discuss practical solutions to future issues.”

The Year of Engineering 2018 is a government campaign, which celebrates the world and wonder of engineering, with a wide variety of events and initiatives taking place around the country.

Lancashire Energy HQ was officially opened by the Northern Powerhouse Minister, Jake Berry MP, at the outset of the national campaign. It aims to train people for the various aspects of the energy sector.