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Women engineers recognised for their inspiring IoT visions

The three engineering students will visit Bosch’s R&D facility in Germany where IoT technologies are being developed and receive a year’s mentoring

One of the winning entries uses ground-based sensors to automate garden watering
One of the winning entries uses ground-based sensors to automate garden watering

Three women engineering students from the UK have been selected as winners of a competition to discover the best new applications of the Internet of Things (IoT).


Bosch’s Internet of Things innovations competition, which forms part of its Between Us We Can campaign, is designed to shine a light on female talent in engineering as well as support efforts to improve gender diversity within engineering.


Maz Chowdhury, Sophie Spooner and Ka Man Wong won the chance to visit Bosch’s state-­of­-the-­art Renningen and Reutlingen research and development facilities near Stuttgart, Germany. This is where IoT technologies are being developed for Bosch. The winners will also receive a year’s mentoring from Bosch engineers.


Chowdhury, who is studying chemical engineering at the University of Surrey, invented an automated watering system to ensure a perfect lawn. The garden watering and irrigation system was linked to ground­-based sensors to ensure that lawns and plants would receive exactly the right amount of water required


Spooner, a communications engineering student at Aston University, Birmingham, imagined the use of front and rear window ­mounted micro-­cameras that could record video footage in the wake of unauthorised entry into a vehicle. The security system could send the images to the car owner’s smartphone


Meanwhile, Ka Man Wong, an engineering student at the University of Bath, came up with the idea of a multi­sensory recycling container that could classify the type of waste that consumers were recycling, employing a points­ based incentivisation scheme to reward them accordingly.


“At a time of chronic skill shortages within engineering, the competition provided a platform for women to demonstrate the ambition to solve problems and ideas to change the world,” said Steffen Hoffmann, president of Bosch in the UK.


“We challenged the brightest young female engineers to think about how the IoT might transform our lives, and they certainly delivered. The three winners showed that they have imagination and creativity. Each of them had also given thought as to how their ideas might work in practice.”


Entries for the competition were assessed by an expert judging panel including professor Danielle George, vice dean for teaching and learning at the University of Manchester and presenter of the Royal Institution’s 2014 Christmas Lectures; Dr Steffen Hoffmann, president of Bosch UK; Jon Excell, editor of The Engineer magazine and website; and Sarah Claridge, qualified engineer and account director at Technical Associates Group.


“The competition produced some fantastic ideas that could change the way we go about our lives,” added professor George. “At a time of skills shortages across industry, it has been a great way of enthusing the next­ generation of female role models.”







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