Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering

Design

GRAID moves closer to the pipeline front line

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 18 October 2017

With a bold new twin-chassis design, our ground-breaking GRAID robot is on track to transform the way National Grid inspects previously unreachable sections of its network. Project Lead David Hardman shares the latest as this innovative pipe dream gets closer to reality.

Human fascination with the power of machines has remained undimmed for decades. So it’s no surprise that our latest robotic innovation – Project GRAID – has been capturing the imagination of everyone from the national press to the gas industry, our customers and stakeholders.

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Eat Me: From classroom project to pitching at the Palace

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 9 October 2017

Student entrepreneurs Siena and India are taking on the food waste challenge with their innovative, fridge scanning app. What started as a classroom project has grown to a working prototype, winning its inventors the Big Bang Fair’s Junior Engineer of the Year award and a shot at pitching their idea at St James’ Palace. We met up with them to find out more!

Tell us a bit more about the Eat Me app. How does it work?

Siena: Eat Me is an IOT solution that helps transform the relationship between the consumer and the amount of food they waste in their homes. We have built a working prototype that turns any fridge into a smart fridge. It scans best before dates, optimises menus, orders food or even alerts another user if you are running out of certain products in your fridge.

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Alexandra Stefanescu: Designing the fastest race cars in the world

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 6 October 2017

Although I help to design Formula One race cars now, I started out studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Bristol. It was only later that I got into aerodynamics and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) that led me into motorsports. I went on to study for a Master’s degree in Aerodynamics at the University of Sheffield and have just finished my PhD at the University of Manchester.

A few years ago, I decided that what I want most is to work with race cars, and so I aimed straight for the world of Formula One. Designing Formula One race cars using CFD and aerodynamics means tackling some intricate technical challenges. Engineers must be self-motivated and creative, as well as adequately qualified of course.

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BAE Systems are futureproofing history aboard HMS Victory

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 4 October 2017

Staying cool under pressure and tackling surprising problems are vital skills for an engineer. A specialist team at BAE Systems have found these strengths stretched to the limit with an unusual restoration project.

Working with the National Museum of the Royal Navy, BAE Systems are helping preserve the world’s oldest commissioned warship for future generations.

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What’s next in the world of engineering?

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 2 October 2017

Engineering is responsible for the pulleys, wheels and bows and arrows that carried us towards civilisation. It powered the SS Great Britain across the Atlantic and raised the Eiffel Tower. Without engineering, we wouldn’t have powerful computers tucked away in pockets or a direct line to outer space. Since its inception thousands of years ago, engineering has undoubtedly shaped our world. The question we’re addressing this month, however, is what happens next?

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Upgrade your future workout with sweat-powered wearable tech

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 11 September 2017

Engineers at the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) have developed a stretchy fuel cell that is powered by sweat. The ‘epidermal biofuel cells’ stick to the wearer’s skin and can power devices like LEDs and Bluetooth radios.

Fuel cells work by turning the chemical energy in hydrogen-based fuels into electrical energy when the fuel is exposed to oxygen. The chemical reaction takes place at the fuel cell’s electrodes and produce electrically charged particles. These are carried from one electrode to the other, completing the circuit and producing a current.

Combining chemistry, advanced materials and electronic interfaces, the team have made an exciting breakthrough. Their new cells can generate 10 times the power per surface area than any existing wearable biofuel cells.

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Cycle downriver on the Thames Deckway

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 31 August 2017

Copyright 2010 River Cycleway Consortium Ltd. Early concept design Anna Hill & David Nixon 2010.

The Thames Deckway is an exciting green transport infrastructure project in London. We aim to tackle some of the big urban challenges facing our city and others like it.

With the support of Innovate UK, we are currently working towards realising our technology demonstrator in east London in 2018.

New figures from Transport for London (TfL) show that more people are cycling in the city than ever before. Despite this, currently one bicycle journey in every 515,000 ends in death or serious injury. At the same time, air pollution from vehicle emissions results in a wide range of health impacts, which significantly reduces life expectancy within the city.  Compounding on these issues, projections of future climate change paint a bleak picture. For example, with much of the transport network below ground, more than 57 tube stations would be at risk of climate induced flooding.

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Designing helicopter blades and algorithms to cut out in-flight vibrations

  • Posted by QEPrize Admin
  • 24 August 2017

Helicopters play a key role in many aspects of our modern society. They fly as air ambulances, search and rescue teams and in military operations. We also use them for urban transport and off-shore oil and gas operations. Some organisations even rely on helicopters for monitoring national electric grids.

Vibrations are one of the main considerations when designing and manufacturing rotorcraft vehicles. As well as causing damage to aircraft, excessive vibrations can result in higher fuel and maintenance costs, not to mention a bumpy ride for passengers. There are many causes of vibrations, but the prime source is the helicopter’s main rotor. In order to fly, the main rotor blades move through the air and create a force that lifts the helicopter. However, the interaction between the rotor blades and the air is very complex. As the blade moves in a circular trajectory, the aerodynamic forces change as it spins.  This causes a type of vibration that is not encountered in fixed-wing planes.

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