Students celebrate triumph at engineering awards

Aston CDIO Teams
Pictured: Aston University CDIO teams

8 July 2014

Aston University students are celebrating their success at a major engineering competition after they were awarded first and second prize. 

Two teams of Engineering and Product Design students participated in the Conceive Design Implement Operate (CDIO) Conference, held in Barcelona. The annual event, organised by the CDIO Initiative, allows engineers from across the world to meet their peers, take part in workshops and compete against one another. 

During this year’s contest, the teams had to their own present design projects on a series of engineering topics relevant to current real-world issues. 

A panel of expert judges deemed the two groups of Aston students the best in the undergraduate category. The winners, led by Shaun McCleland, were praised for their project to raise ‘Environmental Awareness Among High Risk Engineering Professionals’. The runners-up, captained by Jamie Brooks, also received plaudits from the judges for their innovative plans to help ‘Monitor Hydration Levels and General Health Deterioration in the Elderly’. 

In succeeding, the Aston teams were ranked above student representatives from universities in countries as varied as China, Singapore, Vietnam, Denmark, Sweden, Portugal, Finland and Russia. 

In addition to the main competition, those attending the Conference were put into mixed teams to work on a separate design task to create an electronic system to optimise the flight path of a quad copter drone. Aston students were again to the fore in the winning team, partnering with students from the Singapore Polytechnic. 

Dr Gareth Thompson, Head of the Mechanical Engineering and Product Design Group at Aston, said: “I am immensely proud of the efforts of our students. Not only were they successful with their own brilliant projects but, perhaps more importantly, they adapted fantastically well to new technical problems set the by the CDIO organisers.

“They were somewhat out of their comfort zone but showed what qualities they have displayed all year at Aston, reacting with the skill, grit and teamwork they have developed with us in order to get outstanding results.” 

The CDIO Initiative is an institution that provides and implements educational frameworks, developed by leading engineering education practitioners, for producing the next generation of engineers. 


For further media information, please contact Jonathan Garbett, Aston University Communications on 0121 204 4552 or