A team of five year 10 students from UTC Swindon are celebrating after triumphing over tough national competition to win the 14-16 age group in the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge Finals, held this week at the Newcomen Hangar at HMS Sultan in Portsmouth.

In a challenge that incorporated design, engineering, construction and business skills, the students had to prove that their design for an unmanned, powered, remotely operated system to clear objects from the sea-bed would work in reality. They had just one day to build, refine and test their system and they also had to deliver a presentation about their design and approach. The judges were looking for the team that combined manoeuvrability, endurance, design quality and innovation with the most objects cleared from the test area.

Under pressure from the 75 other teams in the competition, the UTC Swindon team drew on their teamwork, resilience and engineering skills to overcome difficulties and prove that their design was the most effective at clearing objects from the sea-bed – a test tank measuring 3m x 3.4m that included hazards and structures that they had to navigate.

The team members are Connor Browne, Josh Clarkson, Malachi Willis, Harry Povey and Antony Moran who are all in Year 10.

Celebrating their win, the team said: “It was a fantastic experience from start to finish. Every member of our team has a different skill, so we worked really well together and feel proud to come back as winners, it feels great!”

Jon Oliver, Principal of UTC Swindon, congratulated the team on their success: “This is an outstanding achievement that is thoroughly deserved by the team. They showed immense technical skill, determination and ingenuity to win the challenge against tough competition. These are exactly the kind of qualities that we need in the engineers of the future and as a school we are hugely proud of them.”

Vice Admiral Sir Jonathan Woodcock OBE, Second Sea Lord said: “This annual engineering challenge which grows from strength to strength each year offers an invaluable opportunity for the Royal Navy to inspire the engineers of the future whilst at the same time encouraging innovation and showcasing the variety of roles and opportunities that exist for those wishing to pursue a career in engineering.”

“UTCs offer the opportunity for young people to gain the academic and technical qualifications that are valued by the Royal Navy and other industry partners and this annual challenge provides an excellent example of the practical application of the theoretical learning they have received in the classroom.”

UTC Swindon is holding an open event this Saturday 24 March from 10.00am-1.00pm where there’ll be an opportunity to find out more about the team’s success and learn about the unique learning environment of the college. Prospective students and their families are invited to meet staff and current students and explore the UTC’s exceptional facilities for engineering and digital technologies.

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