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23 Nov 2016

Second year student shortlisted for international train design competition

Second year Industrial Design and Technology student, Nick Pyne was recently shortlisted for an international train design competition ''shaping the future of green transportation.''

Nick was one of the 38 shortlisted entrants and was invited to China last week by the Industrial Designers Society of Railway Vehicle, for the International Workshop on Railway Vehicle Industrial Design 2016 and the competition award ceremony.

Nick decided to enter the competition as he had some free time during summer and hoped it would be fun. Designing a train had never crossed his mind before but he thought it would be a good project to put in his portfolio.

To learn about trains Nick read lots of online articles and train related customer complaints. He also watched Youtube videos on high speed, planes, aerofoils, Tesla and much more.

With the brief of ‘shaping the future of green transportation’ in mind, Nick began thinking of all the possible ways he could make a train more efficient.

''I thought the idea of putting an aerofoil on top of a train to reduce weight was a cool and crazy idea.''

Over the summer Nick worked as an intern for 4 months for an industry professional who studied aeronautical engineering at university. Nick took this opportunity to run his aerofoil idea past him and slowly his crazy idea turned into something that could actually work.

He also explored power and the best angle of attack for the nose of the train. Nick ran multiple CFD simulations in Solidworks to prove his idea, primarily whether or not the aerofoil would work.

Whilst in China Nick had a busy itinerary of workshops and presentations he could attend, on topics such as ‘‘The importance of Design in Green Transport’’ and ‘‘Improving Railway systems through Human Factors.’’ As well as hearing from keynote speaker Paul Priestman, designer and chairman of PriestmanGoode- the company that notified the Design School of the competition in the first place.