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Young Structural Engineers International Design Competition


The 2017 Brief: Design a space station

Exploration of our solar system is the next great challenge for humankind and represents unique challenges for structural engineers. For YSEIDC 2017, applicants were asked design a space station.

Prepare a design for a modular construction space station that can be assembled in zero gravity conditions to orbit Mars and other major planets or moons and act as a staging post for exploration of the planets of our solar system. The space station must be able to develop its own gravity field and be self-sustaining over long periods between the arrivals of delivery vehicles from Earth. The station must accommodate the servicing and launching of landing vehicles for planetary exploration and vehicles for the return journey to Earth. The station will host a permanent crew of approximately 10, but there must be additional accommodation for another 10 visiting crew members and engineers.

The station should be constructed as a series of smaller structures that can be gradually developed and possibly dis-assembled and re-used in other exploration missions. The structure must be designed to resist a wide variety of external and internal pressures and to accommodate extremes of high and low temperatures as the station moves from dark space to full sunlight. Other factors to consider include forces and vibration due to the launch and docking of space vehicles, sudden changes of mass in an emergency, in addition to possible impacts from space debris. Any suitable material may be used for the structure.

The design team, which will be structures led but may include young engineers from a variety of disciplines, must research current literature and research papers on space structures in order to demonstrate an appreciation of the particular problems involved in the design and construction of space station structures.

The judges are looking for innovative but feasible ideas that have the potential for further development, rather than an expert knowledge of the detailed design of structures for use in deep space.

Registration is now closed.

 

Prizes

Three cash prizes were available.

1. The John Barrett Prize is awarded to the overall winner(s) of the competition, who will receive £5,000 and a certificate.

The John Barrett Prize was established 23 years ago by Mrs Ann Barrett in memory of the life and work of her husband John Barrett. John was a Member of the Institution and keen to develop design skills in young structural engineers. John sadly died in the Clapham Rail disaster in 1988.

2. The Drury Medal of the Institution is awarded to the best entry submitted by an individual or group of 4 individuals who have not reached their 25th birthdays by Friday 1 September 2017. The winner(s) will receive £2,500 and the Drury Medal.

The Drury Medal was founded by the late Mr F E Drury (President 1945-1946) and was established to encourage students and graduates of the Institution to design adventurously.

3. The Undergraduate Prize is awarded to the best entry submitted by undergraduates studying a civil or structural engineering course. The winner(s) will receive £2,000 and a certificate.

The competition was judged by a panel that included specialists in the field covered by the competition and Directors of the Educational Trust.

 

Eligibility

The competition was open to individuals who had not reached their 30th birthday on Friday 1 September 2017. The chief representative for each team had to be a member, any grade, of The Institution of Structural Engineers.

Applications could be made by individuals or by teams of not more than four.

Where teams, rather than individuals, intended to submit entries, they had to define one of their team members as chief representative (who must be a member, any grade, of The Institution of Structural Engineers) on the registration form.

Each candidate/team could only be awarded one prize. Where a team was awarded a prize, prize money was given to the team as a whole.

Candidates who were undergraduates, any age, were eligible for the Undergraduate Prize. (All members of a team had to be undergraduates on 1 September 2017. The chief representative of a team had to be studying a civil or structural engineering course).

Candidates who were under 25, but not an undergraduate, were eligible for the Drury Medal. (All members of a team had to be under 25, and not undergraduates, on 1 September 2017).

All candidates were eligible for the John Barrett Prize.

 

How to apply

Registration is now closed.

 

About the competition

The Young Structural Engineers International Design Competition, or YSEIDC, is a chance for young structural engineers to be adventurous. The design challenge encourages young engineers to develop their ingenuity, imagination and inventiveness. It is run every three years by the Educational Trust. The next competition is currently expected to open in 2020.

 

Previous winners

In 2017, young structural engineers were asked to design for a modular construction space station that could be assembled in zero gravity conditions to orbit Mars and other major planets or moons and act as a staging post for exploration of the planets of our solar system. 25 entries were received from across the globe and the winners were announced on Wednesday 6 March 2018.
 
Winner of The John Barrett Prize
Polaris Explorations
Jonathan Lloyd Walsh, James Atkinson, Liam Bryant, Atkins
Winner of The Drury Medal
Gravitus Roller Coaster in Space
Radhika Agrawal, BuroHappold Engineering​
Winner of The Undergraduate Prize
ISV Drakes SR-1
Ajen Limbu, Jack Orme, Elliot Tam, University of Plymouth
 
2014 prize winners

Winner of The John Barrett Prize

The Triangular One
Gemma Lockwood, WSP and Elizabeth Side, Mann Williams
Winner of The Drury Medal
Small Bag Big Life
Yeung Carman and Po Ying Wong, City University Hong Kong
Winner of The Undergraduate Prize
Cubeaid
Will Evans, Coventry University

 
 
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