Posted Wednesday 20 July 2022
The annual ‘If you were an engineer, what would you do?' competition, known as the Leaders Awards, were held in the Town House as school pupils across London were honored for their designs which help fix real-world problems.
At the event two exciting prototypes were revealed which were originally selected from entries last year. These prototypes were built by Kingston University staff and students.
Head of Technical Services in the Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, David Utton, who leads up the team involved in designing the prototypes described how the Disabled Car Seat designed by 13-year-old Millie Hampson, was constructed.
"The prototype was designed to help someone in a wheelchair get in and out of a car as easily as possible," he said. "We took then design a step further and me it more universal so the seat could be used in a variety of settings. The seat could hang off the hinges of a car door so people could get into it before the seat swings into the car itself."
The London winner was 10-year-old Oskar Jones. His prototype, the dual temperature controlled anti harm bicycle helmet was designed with bike safety in mind. Sean Wogan, technical officer at SEC, explained the design process.
"The helmet's main function is to heat and cool your head in order to keep the cyclist and awake and make it safer cycling long distances," he said. "The main problem was getting the temperature to change so quickly but we did this by using devices called heat pipes on the helmet which it made it cool down very efficiently," he added.
Mr Utton also stated how immensely proud he was of his team in making the prototypes and also thanked the students that contributed to taking these designs from concept to the finished product.
Also at the ceremony this year's best designs were recognised from pupils aged four to fourteen. Some of the highlights included an electric ice cream van to a robotic bin. The mayor of the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames Councillor Yogan Yoganathan attended the event and was impressed with the children's designs and the work the University put into the two prototypes.
"It is great to Kingston University play their part in inspiring the next generation of engineers," he said. "It is also very encouraging to see that Kingston University students were involved in building these fantastic prototypes and I think they have real potential," he added.
UK Director of Primary Engineer, Chris Rochester, hosted the event and praised the students designs as well as the work the staff and students at Kingston University put into them. "The competition is all about pupils tackling the engineering problems that matter to them," he said. "Kingston University has been an extraordinary partner to work with and we are really grateful for the efforts they have put in to these three exceptional prototypes. It has been fantastic for the children to received, their awards today and to meet the people who brought last year's fantastic designs to life."
The technician team at Kingston University will now select the prototypes they will construct to present at next year's Primary Engineer awards ceremony.