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Degree apprentices win People’s Prize at the Engineering for People Design Challenge

One of the two teams representing Gloucestershire College (GC) and the University of the West of England (UWE) in the Grand Finals have won the People’s Prize of the prestigious, annual Engineers Without Borders’ Engineering for People Design Challenge competition.

This is the second year in the row when GC Engineering apprentices have secured one of the awards – last year’s Runner’s Up prize was won by the team designing a biodigester turning sewage to clean water in Peru.

This year, the competition saw over 8000 students from 33 UK and Ireland Universities participating in the competition with 36 teams at the finals. The finalists pitched their ideas to an expert panel of judges with 3 awards to be given out.

In addition to awarding first and second prizes, the competition also included a public vote: the People’s Prize, which gave the finalists the opportunity to promote their idea across their networks. The GC/UWE winning team gained 565 of the 4000 votes.

Each year, the Engineering for People Design Challenge encourages university-level learners to broaden their awareness of the social, environmental and economic implications of their engineering solutions, in response to a real-world problem. The engineering challenges are framed around the UN Sustainable Development goals and span everything from water and sanitation, energy and the built environment, to transport, waste management, information communications technology and local industry.

This year, the competitors were tasked to research the most crucial needs of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait islanders in Cape York, Australia.

GC/UWE’s winning team focused on food storage challenges in this harsh area of the country, and designed a sustainable fridge powered by a combination of a water wheel and solar panels and made from repurposed and cleaned oil drums often found as litter on the beaches of Cape York. The Evaporative Cooling Barrell aims to improve the quality of life for islanders as it can keep food cool, fresh and safe throughout the year.

“I am very proud of what our apprentices have achieved in the Engineering for People Design Challenge competition” - said Vincent Snow, Lecturer in Engineering at GC and the teams’ Project Curator. “It has been another amazing year for them being able to contribute their ideas on tackling sustainability challenges in the nation-wide competition.”

“This year’s win once again demonstrates the strength of the joint Engineering Degree programme between the University of the West of England and Gloucestershire College,” added Abdul Farooq, Associate Head of Department, UWE . “I would like to congratulate both our teams – not only did they demonstrate exceptional understanding of the issues faced by the islanders’ community, but they were able to bring together their engineering, creativity and project management skills to come up with practical solutions to address them.”

The winning team comprised of Jack Chomette, Jack Madly, Cameron Wilson, Toby Stevens and Elliot Davies who are all Renishaw degree apprentices.

“It’s fantastic news for our apprentices” – said Julia Russel, Apprentice Lead at Renishaw  “At Renishaw, apprentices are a key part of the company’s vision and culture and it’s incredibly rewarding to see individuals doing so well in the programme and achieving their goals while contributing to keeping the world of engineering innovative and relevant to the challenges of today’s world.” 

GC’s Engineering degree apprenticeships are delivered jointly by Gloucestershire College and the University of the West of England, to train the talent of tomorrow in partnership with Gloucestershire’s best engineering and manufacturing companies.

To find out more, visit or contact Employer Training & Apprenticeships team on or 01452 563400.


About Engineers Without Borders: Engineers Without Borders (EWB) UK emerged at the beginning of the millennium, during an era of greater global consciousness, which saw the world commit to the Millennium Development Goals. The mission is to put global responsibility at the heart of engineering to serve the needs of disadvantaged communities and people through engineering projects. For more information visit


About Gloucestershire College: Gloucestershire College is an innovative and career-focused provider of further and higher education, with three campuses in Cheltenham, Gloucester and the Forest of Dean. The College delivers a range of academic, professional and technical training programmes, including apprenticeships, HNCs, HNDs, foundation degrees and professional qualifications up to the equivalent of master’s degrees, as well as short courses for businesses, part-time courses and English for overseas students. Each year Gloucestershire College welcomes over 5,000 full-time students and 10,000 part-time students, and employs over 1,000 members of staff across all sites. Find out more at


Why Gloucestershire College?

We guide any ambitious and motivated person on their journey through education and their career, by providing the right environment that encourages and nurtures individual talents.

Our industry-standard facilities and experienced teaching team provide our students with the skills businesses truly need.

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90% of students would recommend GC and 95% said that the teaching on their course was good.

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