Engineering challenge leads to placement success

Aspiring Mechatronics Engineer Anselm is delighted to have secured a full-time paid placement with Alstom, a global train maker who design and build trains in Derby at the UK's largest train factory. 

IMechE Railway Challenge

Alongside studying BEng (Hons) Mechanical Engineering Anselm wanted to gain as much practical experience as possible so took part in the IMechE Railway challenge in collaboration with Alstom. The competition gives students, recent graduates at Alstom and academic staff the chance to work together in an innovative engineering environment. 

Anselm used skills he had learnt studying Mechanical Engineering such as how to use Solidworks which is a computer-aided design software. During his course Anselm learnt how to design and animate a cherry picker. He applied this knowledge during the IMechE Railway challenge as he used these skills to create a plate that was used during the testing phase of the competition.

During the challenge, Anselm learnt more about electronics and as he is planning to pursue the field of mechatronics, he found it a great opportunity to learn and experience the electronic field. Another opportunity that Anselm had was the chance to use the facilities within the university to make composite panels and battery trays that were used for the innovation challenge.

Anselm was delighted to be appointed team leader of the student side of the project:

"What I enjoyed during the challenge was being a part of the team and the communication between the team members, the atmosphere was always bright, we were able to joke around and have fun whilst working together for the challenge, especially the celebratory reactions we had when we fixed problems on the loco."

A group of students with the locomotive they worked on
Anselm Won (Centre)


During this year’s competition the team won both the AutoStop and Refuelability challenge and were delighted to secure third place overall out of seven participating teams.

After this success Anselm, a member of staff involved in the project, and two staff members from Alstom made a technical presentation to the Midland region of IMechE. They were also very proud to attend the exhibition of their locomotive at the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill.

What's next?

Anselm’s great contribution to the challenge and relationship with Alstom had helped him secure a paid full-time placement with Alstom for his industrial year which has just began. He also is excited to still be involved in this years IMechE Railway challenge. Anselm states:

“I am very excited to work with Alstom because I will be learning in the Electrical Engineering department which will broaden my skills because I am studying Mechanical Engineering. I am looking forward to learning in a working environment and gaining more industry knowledge that I will also be able to use in the final year of my degree.”

Two students at the Railway challenge
Students at the railway challenge
Students at the railway challenge
Kedleston Road, Derby Campus entrance

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