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ACCIS CDT Egg Challenge 2017 – A Song of Eggs and Fire

Two of the challenges faced – a crushing mountain of a man and an angry dragon Logan Wang

Members of the winning team hoisting their trophy. Left to right: Imad Ouachan, Rob Iredale, Arjun Radhakrishnan, Kilian Gruebler Ben Woods

Dr Ben Woods (front row, fourth from left) with all the Egg Challenge participants Ben Woods

24 November 2017

A Song of Eggs and Fire – ACCIS CDT student teams compete to sit atop the Egg Challenge throne.

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Advanced Composites for Innovation and Science (ACCIS CDT)’s third annual Egg Challenge took place last month and was a smashing success. This year’s event was the largest to date, with over 50 people competing in seven different teams. There were five PhD student teams made up of mixed CDT cohorts vying for the coveted trophy, while the postdoctoral and staff teams played along for fun.

The challenge this year was more eggstreme than ever, with Eggxecutive Producer Dr Ben Woods clearly unable to “just take it easy”: instead he came up with the most elaborate, mechanically complex, and deadly egg event to date. The theme of “fantasy dragons and knights” (with a completely coincidental resemblance to a certain hit TV show) provided ample occasion to design diabolically destructive devices to test the students’ wit and engineering prowess.

A series of three seasons unfolded slowly over the course of the event, with a new challenge to be overcome in each. These included being squeezed through a gate, crushed under the sword of a rather robust knight, and getting unceremoniously launched into the air by the angry, swinging tail of a spring loaded, hair-triggered dragon. The students had to design a capsule which would keep their precious egg cargo safe to the end of the series using only the most basic of elements including spaghetti, hot glue, paper, glittery pipe cleaners, and of course, googly eyes.

A wonderful range of expertly engineered and beautifully crafted creations were built and run through the gauntlet – but ultimately only one student team was able to survive the onslaught. Points were given for a wide range of important engineering parameters such as minimising mass, maximising launch distance, having lots of flair, etc: at the end of the day the winning team was the one that performed well in all categories.

Overall, the event was a great way for the students to get to know each other better and to work on a challenging and entertaining, if slightly silly, engineering challenge. The students are already looking forward to next year’s event.

Imad Ouachan, first year CDT student and member of the winning team, said: “The event was a great way to get to know people from other cohorts in an informal setting. I am looking forward to returning next year and defending our title as ACCIS CDT Egg Challenge Champs 2017”.

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