Engineering Showcase highlights USW excellence

Engineering Showcase 2016, Stream Surfer, Sitting is Hilda Berge. Standing, from left, are Tom Newby, Sion Williams, Zhen Cherng Loa and Rowan Findler. Neil Gibson

The team that made the Stream Surfer. Sitting is Hilda Berge. Standing, from left, are Tom Newby, Sion Williams, Zhen Cherng Loa and Rowan Findler.

A FLOATING turbine known as The Stream Surfer, an engine that runs off water, and a drone made with recycled material, were among the projects on display at the University of South Wales (USW) annual Engineering Showcase event.

Other projects on display included an automatic car, designs for sustainable concrete using wood, and a portable sensor for rugby impacts.

The showcase provides an opportunity for visitors and students to share knowledge about the challenges facing the industry, to network with professionals working in the sector, and see first-hand the impressive range of projects being designed and developed by students on USW’s aerospace, electrical, civil and mechanical engineering courses. 

The Keynote speaker at the event was Ben Taylor, the Assistant Chief Executive of Renishaw PLC.

Dr Daphne O’Doherty, Head of the School of Engineering at the University of South Wales, said: “The annual Engineering Showcase gives our students the opportunity to show potential employers their skills, and explain how they identified and solved an engineering problem.

“This experience and one-to-one interaction is vital in helping them secure a job when they leave USW, which has the largest engineering provision in Wales.

“Many of our graduates have gone on to secure some major positions in some of the biggest engineering companies in Wales and beyond. The showcase is designed to help current undergraduates take the first step towards emulating them.”

Christopher Jones of Renesas Electronics Europe added: “We very much enjoyed the Engineering Showcase and were very impressed with the level of quality of the exhibitors”

A number of awards were handed out by supporters of the showcase to students whose projects caught their eyes.

For their Rainwater Pico Hydrosystem, Jasmine Lawrence, Timothy Wright, Elena-Oana Pintoiu, Justin Cull and Laima Dauginaite won the Renewable Energy Systems award from Fike Limited.

“Many regions around the world experience lengthy periods of rainfall all year round, especially those with monsoon season. During monsoon season, this rainwater could actually be utilised to provide back-up power in areas where the amount of rainfall has affected the power lines to homes,” Jasmine said.

“The Rainwater Pico Hydrosystem utilises rainwater to generate electricity. It consists of a turbine within a pipe, which is installed onto the side of a building as part of the guttering system. When it rains, the rainwater drives the turbine by causing it to spin. As the turbine spins, the magnets on the blades generate magnetic flux with the copper coils and it produces electricity.” 

Meanwhile, Oliver Counsell, Douglas Cooper, Daniel Whincup and Martin Carroll took the Electrical and Electronic Engineering award, sponsored by Renishaw plc, for their hydgrogen rocket.

“Our system uses water and electric current to generate hydrogen and oxygen into thrust,” explained Oliver.

“The system is controlled remotely by mobile phone. We’ve enjoyed the learning experience as it has brought together different areas of engineering, and has allowed us to create a controlled explosion!”

Another award winner was Edson Da Silva, who won the Electrical and Electronic Engineering honour from Fike for his Portable Sensor System for Rugby Impact Assessment.

“My project investigates the relationship between the force the body receives during a collision and the impact this has on the player’s head. I’ve developed a portable sensor system for impact assessment that could be used by coaches and medical staff,” Edson explained

The Engineering Showcase is supported by leading professional bodies, networks and organisations including the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Lighting Professionals, Renishaw PLC, Renesas Electronics and Fike Safety Technology Ltd.

For more details of the showcase, visit

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