Siemens has uncovered engineering, technology and business talent through a competition to design the smart and sustainable transport system of the future.

SustainaCity Racer challenged 50 bright sparks from 15 universities across the UK to design an intelligent, sustainable and interconnected network for a fictional city region, using a variety of transport types for citizens living in different environments.

At the end of the two-day hackathon-style event 22 students and graduates were offered access to early career opportunities with Siemens’ Digital Industries, Smart Infrastructure, and Mobility businesses.

For the second year running SustainaCity Racer participants were put into hybrid, multidisciplinary teams and challenged to apply engineering, digital and commercial elements to their designs.

The winning group, Eco Made Easy (pictured), proposed using a hyperloop tunnel and hydrofoil water vessel as the main transport, an app using real-time transport data and AI to map fastest, cheapest and most sustainable journeys, and an innovative POD transport which combines rail and bus.

The team included: Bagha Charuduth (Bsc in Computer Science at the University of Sheffield); Sarah Kelly (Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Automotive at the University of Bath); Hannah Pope (Computer Science at the University of York); Jake Sawyer (Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University); Boon Kean Teo (Msc in Electronics and Computer Engineering at the University of Sheffield); Thisura Wijayananda (Electronic Engineering with Management at King’s College London); Daniel Wilcox (Automotive Engineering at the University of Bath); and Tom Woodburn (MEng in Design Engineering at Imperial College London).

They scooped opportunities to interview for internship and graduate roles, as well as a £250 Amazon voucher and a trophy.

Thomas Edwards, Graduate Engineer for Siemens Digital Industries, said: “SustainaCity Racer was launched in 2020 as a way of bringing multi-disciplinary minds together to collaborate to come up with innovative solutions to real-life problems and give students the opportunity to experience things that they may encounter if they worked at Siemens.

“We were extremely impressed with all 50 of the participants and the outstanding ideas they came up with to respond to the task of innovating in a new age of connected mobility that allows people to move more intelligently and sustainably.”

“All the contestants showed exemplary collegiate behaviour and cooperated with their team members in the race to win the top spot. The winners clearly demonstrated superb teamwork and we were particularly impressed with the creation of user stories which meant the needs of passengers were always at the forefront of decision making, leading them to an innovative yet realistic solution that worked for everyone. Their wildcard proposition of a train/pod solution captivated all of the judges.”