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TDI Challenge shines a light on the next generation of UK engineering talent

For over a decade the Manufacturing Technologies Association’s (MTA) annual Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge, has been shining a light on young designers and engineers. The nationwide competition for schools aims to encourage teenagers to recognise the opportunities of a career in engineering and further develop their practical knowledge of modern manufacturing. 

This year’s TDI Challenge final took place on Wednesday 6th July at Yamazaki Mazak’s European Headquarters in Worcester. The competition was open to all Design and Technology (D&T) students from across the UK. From these entries a shortlist of twelve finalists were chosen by the MTA’s Learning and Development Committee to attend the final judging day and award ceremony in Worcester.


The judging was split into two age groups; 14-16 years old and 17-19 years old, with one winner and two runners-up chosen from each group. The finalists impressed the judges with the high calibre of design projects and the engineering talent on show.


In the 14-16 year old category the award was won by Christopher Kalogroulis from Sutton Grammar School for Boys with his Stackamals project – a unique range of animals created from laser cut sheets of MDF, that can be used to store valuables. The judges felt that Christopher’s project was a well-engineered finished project.  They were impressed that Christopher had created a good brand that was commercially ready.

Second place went to Lucy Thornton from Queen Elizabeth’s High School, Gainsborough, with her Giraffe push along rocker and third place was awarded to Cameron Hubbard from Attleborough Academy Norfolk, with his V8 inline four engine BBQ.

Christopher said “It has been a really good day and a fantastic experience. I’m so pleased with the reaction to my entry, I’m going to try and get a Kickstarter campaign started online to get the product to market this summer”

The winner of the 17-19 category was Ben Noar from Highgate School with his spherical wheel, designed to enable ease of movement. The judges commended Ben for being inventive, with progression of research.  The project has a wide application of uses and Ben had a great attitude.  Ben said “It is quite incredible I was not expecting it at all, it is a great thing to put on my personal statement for University, but it is an experience I’ll never forget.”  

The twelve finalists were praised by Alan Pickering, Chair of the MTA’s Learning and Development Committee and Managing Director of Unison Ltd, who said; "the students and their projects were tremendous, a real credit to their schools and parents.  I am sure they will all have a bright future!”.