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Autodesk Supports UK Engineering Students’ Green Prize

Girls’ high school wins IMechE Greenpower electric car design competition boosted by free Autodesk software

18 Nov 2008 — Autodesk is pleased to congratulate the national winner of the annual IMechE Greenpower student car design for 2008, Sandbach High School & Sixth Form College for Girls in Cheshire.

Now in its tenth year, Greenpower, working in association with the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), poses secondary school students the challenge of designing, building and racing an electric car to compete against other student design teams around the country.

The competition promotes an innovative approach to engineering and gives students an insight into the real, tangible world of professional engineers with the help of mentors from leading UK companies, all members of IMechE. 

The IMechE North Western Young Members Panel has launched an after-school club that will be rolled out across the North West of England and all their mentors have been provided with free Autodesk Inventor software, the foundation for the Autodesk solution for digital prototyping.  A digital prototype is a realistic 3D digital simulation of the entire end product, used to virtually optimise and validate that product before it is built and so reduce the need for constructing physical prototypes.

Engineering students in universities and secondary schools are able to access Autodesk Inventor via the Autodesk Student Engineering and Design Community; more than 430,000 students and their tutors worldwide already take advantage of this major resource which gives access to free software, careers advice, guidance, news and an opportunity to showcase work.

“Autodesk is already a supporter of the IMechE Formula Student competition for university students but by making Inventor accessible to secondary schools via Greenpower, it is encouraging enthusiasm for engineering among students of all ages,” says mentor Ian Grant of Springfields Fuels Limited.

“It encourages problem solving through multidiscipline teamwork, which is a totally new concept for most of them. And the end product is exciting, which demonstrates that engineering can be an interesting and rewarding career choice.”

Sandbach High School’s winning car, Zebedee, won the overall “Best Engineered Car” award and also the “Most aerodynamic Car” award from Southampton University.

“Some of the reasons Zebedee stood out were the way the design of the battery compartment and the quick release mechanisms they incorporated to assist the quick change of the batteries decreased the time needed at pitstops,” says Ian.

Their prize – a Wii console and Guitar Hero – provided by Autodesk, was presented to Sandbach High School by Ian on 18th November 2008.  

“Sustainability is an issue which is at the very core of Autodesk’s thinking, so we’re delighted to be helping encourage and promote sustainability in design amongst the engineers of the future through IMechE Greenpower,” says Denelise L’Ecluse, Autodesk’s Northern European Education Manager.