Engineering students win an Armed Forces regional college competition

A team of Engineering students from City of Oxford College and University Centre’s Technology Campus have won an Armed Forces regional college competition.

Winners group photo Left to Right Rhys Ewes-Stone, Kai Czuplak, Joseph Payne and Ot Hang Sireng

The Corps of the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) provides engineering support to maintain and repair the vast array of British Army equipment. Every year, they set a challenge to Engineering students in the local area, asking them to submit a design and present it to a group of judges.

This year, the students were asked to design a storage solution for four SA80 assault rifles on a Westland Gazelle AH.1 helicopter. All the colleges who took part were given the same brief, which included Banbury and Bicester College, Bracknell and Wokingham College, City of Oxford College and University Centre’s Technology Campus, Reading College and University Centre and UTC Swindon.

After the initial competition heat, teams from Bracknell and Wokingham College and City of Oxford College and University Centre’s Technology Campus were selected to go through to the final.

At the final, the two teams each presented their design to the judges, with the team from City of Oxford College and University Centre’s Technology Campus being picked as the winners. The winning students were presented with a REME trophy, a REME water bottle and gift voucher.

Engineering student Joseph Payne presents to the REME judges

Ot Hang, Kai, Joseph and Rhys are all studying an Engineering Level 3 Extended Diploma at City of Oxford College and University Centre’s Technology Campus.

Rhys Ewes-Stone, 18, from Chalgrove, said: “It was great fun to take part in the competition. It was good to be able to design something and succeed in presenting it. It was a great feeling of accomplishment.

“Our design was a compartment at the back of the helicopter, on the underbelly, on the outside, sticking out. There wasn’t a lot of room on the inside of the helicopter, so we moved it to the outside.

“We were a bit nervous about presenting our design to the judges, but it went smoothly. The judges were quite happy with our design because our component could be used for other things like medical devices, which tied us over, whereas the other teams’ designs were custom fitted to the guns.

“I was quite happy when I found out that we’d won as it will look good on my CV when I’m applying for jobs and apprenticeships and help me to get further in life.

“The competition helped me to improve my teamwork and designing skills as well as learning to change the design to work well with the parameters that we were given.”

Winners group photo L to R Rhys Ewes-Stone, Kai Czuplak, Ot Hang Sireng and Joseph Payne

Joseph Payne, 18, from Bicester, said: “Taking part in the competition was exciting and rewarding as it was a new experience as well as a chance to test my knowledge.

“My part of the competition entry included the research and talking about the designs. After the competition, I felt happy, relieved and proud of what we had done.

“I learned during that competition that not all ideas are bad, and that when you work as a team, nothing is impossible.”

John Kelly, Director of Delivery – Construction and Engineering at Activate Learning, said: “This is a remarkable achievement! Getting to the final is tough enough but winning is incredible!

“I’m so proud of the students for their brilliant work and how seriously they took it and to our wonderful team at Activate Learning for supporting and challenging them all the way through!”

Find out more about or contact Activate Learning on 0800 612 6008.