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Siemens taps into the visionary talent of tomorrow

Posted on 02 Feb 2021 and read 510 times
Siemens taps into the visionary talent of tomorrowSustainaCity Racer winners - Top left to right: Jahmai William Achiriga; Erin Medcalf; Oliver Harris .Bottom left to right - Mahmoud Elhelaly; Dermot Newton; Samuel Nield

Siemens has unearthed the next generation of engineering, technology and business talent through an innovative, virtual competition which challenged students to design a smart, sustainable and interconnected transport system.

The two-day hackathon-style event, dubbed ‘Siemens SustainaCity Racer’, involved 60 promising students from 11 of its partner universities including Birmingham, Sheffield, Nottingham, Manchester, Newcastle, Loughborough, Portsmouth, Sheffield Hallam, Aston, Bournemouth, and Southampton.

Participants were put into 10 hybrid, multidisciplinary teams and asked to work together virtually to design a new transport network for a fictional city region, combining a variety of transport types, and considering the demands of different environments.

An exercise in design thinking, the students were challenged to take into account engineering, digital and commercial elements.

The winning group included Samuel Nield, (Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield); Achiriga Jahmai William, (Internet of things with Cyber Security at Bournemouth University); Oliver Harris (Accounting and Finance at the University of Birmingham); Mahmoud Elhelaly (Electrical and Electronic Engineering at the University of Sheffield); Dermot Newton (Computer Science at the University of Nottingham); and Erin Medcalf (Materials Science and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Birmingham).

They scooped the prize of a £250 Amazon voucher and a trophy for each member, as well as an interview for internship and graduate roles at Siemens’ Mobility, Smart Infrastructure and Digital Industries businesses.

Key characteristics of the team’s proposals, which aimed to achieve zero emissions, included: smart vehicles powered by IoT technology; smart power sources for cars, trains, trams and boats such as electric, hydro, wind and solar power; smart charging stations for cars and buses; a Smart app for users to plan journeys, receive information and also make payments; a Smart transport framework to facilitate public transport access; and new Personal Electric Automobile (PEA) vehicles to provide transportation in the countryside.

Shaping the global landscape

Nicholas Dunne, Siemens Mobility director of technology, said: “Siemens is shaping the global landscape with every kind of energy, transportation and technological infrastructure imaginable. In this digital world, where everything is becoming increasingly interconnected, we are in constant need of visionary talent who can help us build on a new age of connected mobility that allows people to move more intelligently and sustainably.

“I am delighted that our Talent Acquisition team was able to come up with SustainaCity, a fantastic alternative to replace the annual Sir William Siemens Challenge which had to be cancelled due to Covid-19.

“The judges were hugely impressed with the creativity of all of the participants and how they responded to the additional challenge of working in a virtual and collaborative environment, and we hope the experience could be a defining moment in what could be a fascinating and rewarding career with Siemens.”

The runners-up group included: Abhishek Cherukara (Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University); George Hawkins (Business Management at the University of Nottingham); Aditi Reddy (Electronics and Communications Engineering at the University of Sheffield); Matthew Nash (Business Management and Entrepreneurship at the University of Portsmouth); and Nitesh Shrestha (Business, Computing and IT at Aston University).

SustainaCity builds on Siemens’ commitment to forging a partnership with higher education providers to bridge the Industry 4.0 skills gap.