29th Jun, 2022

Ingenius engineers - WMG Academy Coventry students win Royal Navy's hurricane boat design contest

INGENIOUS engineers from WMG Academy Coventry are riding on the crest of a wave after winning a competition to design a boat to offer help after a hurricane.

The five students, all aged 15 and 16, took first place in the Royal Navy Engineering Challenge to create a vessel capable of delivering humanitarian aid, such as water, food and medicine.

This is the second year in a row WMG Academy, based in Mitchell Avenue, has won the UK 14 to 16 title in the annual competition which featured 60 teams from across the country.

Team member Lawrence McCoy-Phelan, 16, said: “It’s an honour to win this competition with my teammates as we have worked very hard for a long time on the project.”

Fellow young engineer Ecaterina Falinschi, 15, added: “This has been a great opportunity and it will open a lot of doors for our future careers.

“It has been fun spending time with the team, creating and innovating.”

The team – known as HMS Seals – designed their vessel and created a working model which was praised by Royal Navy engineers for its directional propeller mechanism, manoeuvrability, reliability and loading system.

The event usually takes place in Portsmouth, with competitors demonstrating their working models in water before a panel of judges but this year, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the boats were collected by the Royal Navy and tested by engineers.

As well as scooping the national title, WMG Academy’s team also won three of the four available category awards – innovation, sustainability and manufacture.

The Royal Navy’s lead for training projects, Commodore Andy Cree, said: “We are delighted to have completed the final of the 2020 Royal Navy Engineering Challenge, which remains a key component of the Royal Navy’s schools STEM programme.

“The original event was postponed due to Coronavirus constraints, but we were able to hold the competition in-camera and share videos and lessons learned with the competitors. We will continue to develop innovative ways to present practical Engineering programmes for young people, irrespective of the prevailing conditions.”

WMG Academy’s Associate Principal Matt Brady said: “We are delighted to have won this prestigious national title for the second year running.

Our students are incredibly talented young engineers with bright futures ahead of them and this award is well-deserved recognition their creativity, teamwork and technical skill.”

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