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Engineering's npower success

09 Mai 2007

Students from Cardiff University have won a national competition which sought solutions to plugging the energy gap in the UK.

The competition tasked teams of undergraduates from across the country to answer the question ‘How should the UK plug the impending energy gap?’

The Cardiff School of Engineering team of four won the final of the npower Energy Challenge 2007, held at Wembley Stadium, after beating off tough competition from other universities.

The team was awarded £1,250 per team member and £5,000 for the School of Engineering by Andy Duff, chief executive of RWE npower.

There is a need to meet a predicted energy shortfall of 25 giga watts by 2025 brought about by an increased demand for electricity and the closure of existing coal, oil and nuclear plants as they reach the end of their operational lives. The competition was designed to find answers to the real problems facing the engineering sector and discover new and sustainable solutions that will ensure the UK’s energy needs are met. The Energy Challenge also sought to discover new talent and encourage recruitment into the engineering sector.

Cardiff University’s winning team of Richard Sidley, Philip Bale, David Clark and Mohammed Omer Khan, impressed RWE npower with their presentation focusing on stability and security through diversity.

Taking the idea of creating an innovative and diverse energy mix, by reducing reliance on gas, increasing nuclear and coal capacity and developing the Severn Barrage, the Cardiff team was confident that the predicted energy gap could be significantly reduced.

Mr Duff, Chief Executive of RWE npower said: ‘I would like to congratulate Cardiff University on their excellent winning presentation. The Energy Challenge is an important contribution to ensuring the engineering sector addresses dramatic skills’ shortages while simultaneously addressing the impending energy gap. The competition provides us with an excellent opportunity to source fresh ideas from undergraduate engineers. The high calibre of entrants has demonstrated that the competition offers the potential to identify exciting talent and speak to undergraduates about possible career opportunities.’

Captain of the winning team Richard Sidley said, "We are absolutely thrilled with our success. It has provided us with an excellent opportunity to think about practical solutions to a critical problem that will affect all of us within our lifetime. It is especially rewarding to know that Andy Duff selected our ideas above the others."