Nottingham University's Engineers in Business Award has expanded to allow entries from more student engineers.
Developed collaboratively by Sainsbury Management Fellows (SMF) and Nottingham University Business School (NUBS), last year's successful pilot produced six product concepts from undergraduate teams comprising engineering and business students studying the entrepreneurship and business module.
The pilot was open only to business school students, but its success has resulted in the competition being expanded to include Nottingham University's Faculty of Engineering, giving many more engineers the chance to participate.
Last year the SenSei team won first prize for designing and building a sensory glove that emits a gentle alert indicating the proximity of objects. When worn, the prototype showed how blind and partially sighted people could navigate safely and efficiently through everyday life.
"The bar has been set high for this year's entrants," says Chris Mahon, Deputy Director of MBA Programmes at NUBS. "The competition challenges students to use their creativity and lateral thinking by first identifying a problem and then developing a product concept that solves the problem. The aim is to create a solution that would make a big difference to people's lives."
The team with the most original and exciting idea with practical application will win the award, along with £1,500 and career mentoring from SMF. The runner-up team will receive £1,000 and the team placed third will receive £500.
"The students have really grasped the essence of the competition; its about practical solutions to real problems, not just theoretical business planning," notes SMF President, David Falzani. "It's about combining entrepreneurial and engineering skills with nous to create solutions and products that could change lives. The NUBS/SMF Engineers in Business Award highlights the work of talented young people while emphasising the relevance of engineering for a better world."