School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


8 Jun 2022

Loughborough engineering students' chain reaction machine showcased on Channel 4’s 'Crazy Contraptions’

Student Owen Beresford alongside Richard Hammond

Paul Maynard, a Product Design Engineering lecturer from the Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical, and Manufacturing Engineering recently starred alongside his three students on the Channel 4 show, Richard Hammond's Crazy Contraptions.

Whilst featured on the show, Paul, Owen, Alasdair, and Kevin, otherwise known as the ‘Technical Knockout’ team, were tasked with compiling a complex chain of events using everyday objects from a purpose-built set, to replicate Richard Hammond’s home. The aim of the challenge was that Richard could successfully make his bed from the comfort of his very own bathtub.

Owen Beresford, a Part B Engineering Management student from the Wolfson School explained: “The machine took us four full days to build. Many small components take a long time to put together, which may not be all that obvious when displayed on the TV. We tackled this one room at a time, with support from a great engineering team. Being a part of the Technical Knockout team allowed me to demonstrate the engineering skills I have acquired whilst studying at Loughborough University.”

Paul and his team had just four days to make their machines, which upon completion were judged by the world’s leading authority on chain reaction machines, Zach Umperovitch.

Owen added: “It felt fantastic to be selected to take part. The feeling of being on set was a unique one. I am proud to say I have been given the opportunity to showcase my engineering skills on national TV. As a team, I believe we illustrated engineering in a fun and jovial light which I hope has reached out to the next generation of young aspiring engineers.”

The Technical Knockout team spent a total of 7 days at Oxford’s Rebellion Studios. The episode was filmed as the first of Richard Hammond’s new seven-part series. The team's challenge aired on Channel 4 on Friday 29th April and can be watched here.

Athena Swan Bronze award

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