UCLan students win Aerospace Business Challenge

A trio of University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) students are celebrating after winning the top prize at the North West Aerospace Alliance (NWAA) Business University Challenge.

NWAA New Talent Awards Evening 2014Ashely Johnson, a first year mechanical engineering student, Andrew Bailey, a first year motor sports engineering student, and Peter Sullivan, a second year robotics engineering student, scored one of the highest ever marks at the competition.

Andrew said: “I’m really pleased we won this competition, especially because of the calibre of teams we were up against. I enjoyed the fun challenges because we had to think of strategies and the best way to win. I gained a range of skills that I believe will help my future career plans.”

They were awarded £1,500 prize money and a trophy, sponsored by Wincanton, at the NWAA’s New Talent Awards ceremony held at the prestigious Imperial War Museum, in Manchester.

He added: “UCLan has helped me in this by teaching me some of the skills needed to complete the challenges given to us. They have also pushed us to be a part of as many extra activities as possible to help us in the future.”

The trio was one of eight teams from North West universities and aerospace and defence companies, including BAE Systems, who competed in a series of technical challenges to test their communication, negotiation, innovation, problem solving and presentation skills.

The judges praised the students’ team work and communication skills. They said: “UCLan worked hard throughout the day and were very successful with the tasks. It was very interesting to see the different approach to the activities between university students and apprentices and how they tackled the problems.”

David Bailey, chief executive officer at NWAA, said: “The New Talent Awards has become a key event for the North West’s Aerospace and Defence Sector. It is important that we recognise and reward the achievements of the talent emerging in our industry. It is hugely important to our industry that we increase the numbers of talented young people into apprenticeships to plug the skills gap that threatens our ability to achieve the growth the aerospace market is experiencing.” Matt Dickinson, engineering lecturer and leader of the innovation club that the three students were a part of, added: “We are very proud of the students and their success and we hope that this success is one of many more to come.”