'I Challenge You to a Joule' team members with Clare Balding.

Oxford University team wins BP Ultimate Field Trip UK

A two-week field trip to BP operations in Alaska and Chicago awaits the winning team of three students.

‘I Challenge You to a Joule’, a team of three Oxford University students, has been announced as the winner of the Ultimate Field Trip 2014 UK competition, a STEM talent discovery event held at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, London.

The team, made up of Christopher Clay, Talbot Kingsbury and Jan Paszkiewicz, impressed the judges from BP, guest judge Richard Parker from Rolls-Royce and celebrity host Clare Balding with its approach to developing a solution to this year’s challenge.

Applicants were asked to identify a solution that will significantly reduce energy consumption and be implemented by 2025, with the potential to scale across the energy industry. This could apply anywhere from point of capture to point of sale of energy products, and potentially even create a new product stream.

The team’s solution focused on using energy from gas flares for aluminium electrolysis. The students proposed using natural gas supplies from oil and gas wells, rather than flaring the gas. A simple modular and mobile system allowed aluminium electrolysis to be carried out at the source of the excess gas, reducing the demand on local energy grids and offering cheaper aluminium.

"It’s just amazing to win this year’s Ultimate Field Trip, it’s such an achievement,” said Clay. “I am really proud of our team’s efforts and I would not hesitate in recommending the experience to other students, it’s very rewarding. It's not easy, but all the hard work is worth it."

“It has been another terrific year for the Ultimate Field Trip,” continued Suzy Style, head of Graduate Resourcing UK, BP. “2014 saw the addition of two further countries, Angola and Canada, as the UFT competition expanded to cover five locations around the world. [The UK] winners will join UFT winners from the US, Trinidad and Tobago, Canada and Angola to take part in a really exciting two-week field trip to Alaska and Chicago.”  

The field trip begins in June with a visit to BP’s Alaskan operations. The winners will then visit Chicagoland in the mid-west United States, visiting a BP trading floor and exploring a state-of-the-art oil refinery. The teams will wrap up the field trip by taking in the famous Fourth of July fireworks. The team will also receive Amazon vouchers worth £500.

Students considering entering next year’s competition should visit www.bp.com/uft/uk or join the Facebook group.

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