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7 Jul 2015

Aeronautical Engineering MEng students win two awards in the iMechE’s first UAS Challenge competition

Ten, final year Aeronautical Engineering MEng students, won the Design and Most Viable Business Proposition Awards at the iMechE’s first UAS Challenge competition.

Held on 1-2 July at Bruntingthorpe airfield, the challenge asks teams of undergraduates to design and build an unmanned aircraft system to fly a representative humanitarian mission. They had to identify a drop zone on the ground using an on-board camera, and parachute a 1kg aid package - all of which must be done automatically with no manual control.

Representing the University were Mark Baxter, Ben Burslem, Ben Chase, Jonathan Cooper, Fidel Fernandez, Charles Hyndman, Manoj Patel, Luke Rank, Ben Robinson, Ben Thorpe

Loughborough’s team of students competed against 14 other universities from around the UK. They were the only group to successfully fly the complete mission at the event.

The extreme heat meant that the team encountered a small setback as the motor battery on their aircraft discharged a lot quicker than expected resulting in minor damage on the assessment day. However the team worked hard to repair the fault and completed the mission successfully the following day.

Dr Christopher Harvey, Lecturer in Structural Mechanics, said: “The team’s technical abilities, practical skills, team work and professionalism were impressive to everyone. They were a credit to themselves and to the University.”

The video of the Loughborough team’s automatic flight is available to watch here.

Notes for editors

Article reference number: July News

Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It has been awarded five stars in the independent QS Stars university rating scheme, putting it among the best universities in the world, and was named University of the Year in the What Uni Student Choice Awards 2015.Loughborough is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in the Times Higher Education’s ‘table of tables’ and is in the top 10 in England for research intensity. It was 2nd in the 2015 THE Student Experience Survey and was named Sports University of the Year 2013-14 by The Times and Sunday Times. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, Loughborough has been awarded seven Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

In 2015 the University will open an additional academic campus in London’s new innovation quarter. Loughborough University London, based on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, will offer postgraduate and executive-level education, as well as research and enterprise opportunities.