A team of railway students from the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education
(BCRRE), partnered with UNC Charlotte, and Aegis Engineering Systems, to win second prize in the 5th Annual IMechE Railway Challenge. The integrated team, which involved undergraduate, postgraduate, PhD students, and visiting research students Austin Lukavsky and Nick Frayer from UNC Charlotte, took second prize with 1041 points, just missing out on the top spot to engineering company SNC-Lavalin with 1087 points.
The Railway Challenge, organized by the IMechE Railway Division, provides an opportunity for aspiring teams to compete in a challenging industry-specific competition, showcasing their skills, expertise, knowledge, and business acumen. UNC Charlotte has competed in the Challenge as part of the Birmingham University team for the past four years and this year finished second in a field of twelve entrants, was the top University finisher, and beat out very strong industry teams like Siemens and Alstom. Participants were required to design and manufacture a miniature (10¼" gauge) railway locomotive in accordance with a set of strict rules and a detailed technical specification. The locomotives were tested live at the competition weekend, which took place from June 29 to July 2, 2017 at Stapleford Miniature Railway in Leicestershire, where several categories of winners and an overall Railway Challenge champion were crowned.
This year's team traveled with to the competition with assistance from EPIC, the College of Engineering, the Civil Engineering Department, the Mooresville Rotary, and the Mooresville Chamber. The team and hydrogen locomotive won 3 of the competition categories overall (Energy Recovery, Innovation, and Reliability), and reports from the other side of the pond are that we definitely had the most impressive locomotive!