The International Design Engineering Annual (IDEA) Challenge 2022

The second iteration of the IDEA challenge took place in April 2022 featuring teams from Blekinge Technical University (Sweden), Aalto University (Finland), NTNU (Norway) the University of Zagreb (Croatia) and the University of Bristol (UK). It was co-hosted by us at the DMF lab and Daniel Ege – a reigning IDEA champion from 2021’s NTNU team.

This year’s challenge was around low-cost hydropower with teams required to generate a prototype for a portable device that could generate the most electrical power from 1kJ of gravitational potential energy.

Teams pitched their designs at the end of the week to an academic panel featuring hydropower expert Joe Butchers.  Points were awarded based upon the views of the esteemed panel, physical performance of the prototype and quality of prototypes captured during the week. 

The winning team of IDEA 2022 was the University of Bristol closely followed by NTNU!  

The winning design from the University of Bristol is shown in the video above and managed a best in class 4% efficiency in energy conversion – an impressive feat for a 3.5 day design and build!  

The challenge was also used as a means to trial a refined Pro2booth – a bespoke tool designed by the DMF lab to capture prototypes during product development.  A rich data set of over 200 prototypes was captured and is currently being processed and analysed to better understand prototyping practices employed by designers. Watch this space for  publications with our findings!

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