The 15th edition of the European BEST Engineering Competition Challenge (EBEC Challenge) was held at FEUP from 4 to 6 March (local round) and challenged dozens of teams formed by students from FEUP and FCUP to design in 24 hours a prototype testing their creativity, problem solving skills, teamwork, and the possibility to be present at the national/regional round, with the winners of all local rounds in Portugal and Spain, in a final that will take place at the Polytechnic University of Madrid between 5 and 8 May 2023.
This competition is divided in two modalities, Case Study (theoretical test where a real problem of a company is given to solve) and Innovative Design (practical test where the main goal is to build a prototype, with a limited number of materials and at a low cost), being the “magic FoRMuLa” team the winner of this last modality, composed by four students of the Master in Informatics and Computing Engineering.
Lucas Santos, Francisco Pires, Rita Ramada and Mafalda Magalhães worked their magic and in 24 hours created a prototype capable of picking up rubbish from a water tank, both at the surface and at depth, and depositing it on a platform. To achieve their goal the team could only use materials available in the designated shop, which had a credit cost associated with them. Lucas Santos tells us that they were limited to existing stock, so having quickly started to run out of some essential materials, they were forced to make quick decisions between planning ahead for the prototype, managing the credits spent (which would influence the final score) and purchasing the materials they needed while they were still in stock.
And what was the secret to success? “Teamwork was one of the keys to our success, as each member brought different skills and knowledge to the challenge. Communication and coordination between each of us was key to ensure everyone was on the same page and working towards the same goals,” tell us the winning team whose decision to enter the EBEC Challenge was motivated by the desire to test their practical skills and the challenge of competing against other students.
Since the academic year 2013/2014 EBEC Challenge Porto is credited with 1.5 ECTS as a training action of 40.5 hours. The Case Study competition is called “EBEC Porto 24h – Case Study” and the Innovative Design competition is called “EBEC Porto 24h – Team Design” having been a success in each edition.
Photo: BEST Porto