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Automation and Materials Handling

Learning for the future

Mechatronics is the multidisciplinary field of engineering that includes a combination of mechanical engineering, robotics, electronics, computer engineering, telecommunications engineering, systems engineering and control engineering.

This year, the competition has really captured the imagination of students from across the country. Entries were received from as far afield as the University of Strathclyde and the University of Bath. These were narrowed down to four final presentations by the judging panel, comprising of Dr Mark Aston, Chief Technical Officer, L.B. Foster Europe, Dr Martyn Paradise, Fellow Institution of Mechanical Engineers and Jerry Hughes, a specialist consultant focused on the global fluid power industry. The four finalists were:

  • Andrei Ciobanu Vision Based Target Tracking System for Sports University of Sheffield
  • Leah Edwards Automated Noughts and Crosses System Loughborough University
  • Guy King Design and Build: Chess Playing Robot, Loughborough University
  • Mathus Thongkerd Design and Development of Autonomous Picking Robot Loughborough University.

The final presentations took place at IMechE’s prestigious Birdcage Walk offices in London. Following presentations by each finalist, the judges unanimously voted Loughborough University’s Guy King as the winner of £1000 and the coveted title of ‘Mechatronics Student of the Year’. His chess playing robot really captured the imagination of the judges.

Dr Mark Aston, Chief Technical Officer, L.B. Foster Europe, explains: “What we are looking for in our finalists’ presentations is a clear demonstration of the integration of mechanical engineering with information and computer technology.

“Having wittled down the original entries, each of the projects was worthy of a place in the final. What impressed us as judges was the maturity of thought and the innovative application of mechatronics that always had one eye on commercial applications. That’s where Guy’s project stood out.”

Guy commented: “It was quite nerve-wracking presenting to such a knowledgeable judging panel in the extraordinary surroundings of IMechE’s library, especially considering the people who have stood here before me. This is a great addition to my CV and I hope it’s just the start of a successful career in engineering.”

Dr Martyn Paradise, Fellow IMechE, adds: “Congratulations to all finalists. This competition is a brilliant way to discover the talent that’s out there in our universities. We’d also like to thanks L.B. Foster for its continued support and sponsorship, which makes the competition possible.”