rigid ideas on the stage.

Loughborough University team wins BP Ultimate Field Trip 2011

Second year chemical engineering students show they have some Rigid Ideas, winning a top internship.

Undergraduate team Rigid Ideas has been named the winner of this year’s BP Ultimate Field Trip, a flagship internship competition for UK STEM students. Rigid Ideas wowed judges and host Professor Brian Cox at the Grand Final event in London with its hydrogen production based technology answering a tough challenge set by BP.

The team of three, made up of Thando Sibanda, Adeleye Adewole and Peter Oladimeji were asked to answer the brief what innovative, scientific ideas can your team come up with to maintain the UK Continental Shelf as a global centre of marine technology and engineering excellence by extending the useful life of North Sea oil and gas infrastructure – and, potentially, the oil and gas fields - as their economically productive activity comes to an end? 

Rigid Ideas utilised the temperature gradient between seawater and geothermal fluids in depleting oil wells to generate electricity. Using water and the electricity generated, they argued that they are able to commercially produce hydrogen, which is a clean and sustainable energy carrier.

The students will begin their internship in July 2011 for a seven week period with BP North Sea where they will work on a real business challenge, experience life offshore, visit operations in Norway and enjoy the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Sibanda said that the team had found the experience invaluable and couldn’t wait for the internship to start.

“We are now looking forward to the internship which will involve spending some time offshore and working on real life business and engineering problems,” he says.

The other finalist teams also came up with some impressive ideas. The Edinburgh Innovators (Edinburgh University) looked at using existing rigs as central hubs for multiple wave farms, Team Blue North (Imperial College London) focused on carbon capture and Team Hydration (Manchester University) considered using the current infrastructure to produce fresh water from seawater.

“Once again we were overwhelmed by the level of commitment and technical knowledge shown by the students throughout the competition,” says Emma Judge, Head of Graduate Resourcing, BP. “We are delighted for the winning team, Rigid Ideas, and extend our congratulations to all of the finalist teams as selecting a winner was no easy task.”

Students considering entering next year’s competition should visit www.bp.com/fieldtrip or join the BP Ultimate Field Trip Facebook group.

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