Design Challenge 2018

On Wednesday 7th March 2018 I’ll be delivering a speech at the North West Design Challenge. And what a privilege it will be, to be in the place where it all started, on its 10th Anniversary.

Before I share my speech with you all later in the week, here’s all you need to know about the Design Challenge.


The Design Challenge gives first and second year undergraduates a taste of the ‘real world’ of engineering by challenging them to design, create, present and run a device to a strict technical specification.

Design Challenge 2017 - regional heat

The Challenge enables participants to gain real-industry experience, practical employability skills and enhanced business and people skills, all within a set time frame. It is intended to complement the academic curriculum and is used by participants towards their projects.

We are interested in expanding the regional/ country foot print. If you are interested please get in touch at

The Challenge

  • Open to teams of up to five first year or second year students enrolled on an engineering course at a university in England
  • Teams compete in local regional competitions in March/April, leading to a national final for the regional winners
  • Students are challenged to undertake a specific project.  In 2017, a repeatable vehicle, in 2018, to design, build and test an internal pipe-climber – a device to climb up the inside of a piece of vertical transparent tube lifting an increasing load.

    Design Challenge 2017 - regional finals

Why Participate?


  • Gain practical design manufacturing and engineering skills for industry
  • Gain business planning, budgeting and presentation skills
  • Gain people and teamwork skills
  • Connect and network with like-minded students
  • Gain accolades for achievements
  • Gain support from potential employers
  • Network and connect with engineering professionals and experts
  • For a chance to win up to £800 for your team.


  • Generate a stronger pool of industry-ready young engineers
  • Complement and encourage academic excellence via an enriched contributor towards final projects
  • Accredit your course with the Institution and provide Professional Development options for your staff team.


  • Be increasingly visible as a leader in inspiring the next generation
  • Maximise placement/graduate recruitment opportunities
  • Build a talent pool
  • Consolidate support and uphold the future of engineering
  • Deliver profiled and relevant brand exposure
  • Be part of a growing network of industry leaders that promote innovation

Previous Winners

2017 Challenge Winners - Manchester Metropolitan University – (North West Region)

Congratulations to Manchester Metropolitan University (North West Region), winners of the Design Challenge 2017 first-year competition.

Brunel University team paying close attention to the first years competition

Our congratulations also go to Brunel University London (Greater London Region), walk-over champions in the second-year competition.

2017 Finals day round up – ‘Design Challenge goes from strength to strength


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