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TDI Challenge 2018 – Entries Now Open

The Manufacturing Technologies Association (MTA) is delighted to launch the 2018 edition of their flagship competition for D&T and engineering students, the Technology Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge sponsored by Close Brothers.

The annual competition for schools and colleges has grown in prominence over the past decade to becoming one of the leading extracurricular school’s competitions in the UK.

To promote this year’s Challenge the MTA have produced a series of short clips and interviews to be shared on social media (links found below), to inspire this year’s entrants. The videos focus on last year’s finalists and some of the imaginative designs that led to their well-deserved place in the final.

Previous winners and participants have used the TDI as a springboard into the industry, with last year’s winner in the 17-19 age category, Halimah Ershad of Forest School in London, receiving an undergraduate scholarship to the Dyson School of Engineering. 

Her project was call BrooDen – which was High End Chick Brooder. Halimah reacted to winning by saying “I can’t believe I have won, it has been a great day and I have really enjoyed myself. It was a brilliant experience seeing a modern manufacturing facility like Mazak. This is a great first step for me in to a career in engineering.”


The TDI Challenge has four categories, and is open to anyone in the UK who has created an impressive Design & Technology or Engineering project within school.

  • Individual student aged 14-16 (GCSE/KS4/BTEC L2)
  • Individual student aged 17-19 (A-Level/BTEC L3)
  • Student group (3- 6 members) aged 14-16 (GCSE/KS4/BTEC L2)
  • Student group (3-6 members) aged 17-19 (A-Level/BTEC L3)

Many students enter the TDI Challenge with their existing coursework projects.  It is not necessary to spend time creating a new project, although we also welcome projects developed especially for the TDI Challenge. Students cannot enter both the individual and group categories.

The competition is free to enter, and students can win prizes including an iPad, GoPro, UE Boom Speaker, drone plus many more. The winning school in each category will also win £2000 of credit to spend with Technology Supplies Limited (Design, Technology & Engineering specialists for education worldwide) on D&T equipment for the classroom. Runner-up prizes of £1000 and £500 are also available for schools in each category.

Laura Pickering, Education and Development Manager at the MTA, said “This year the TDI Challenge is even more important, as we are in the Year of Engineering. We want to use this opportunity to inspire the next generation of engineers, and to help widen the diversity of employees within the industry.  Students from all backgrounds should be aware that there are many rewarding and interesting careers in engineering available to them, accessible via apprenticeships and further/higher education.”

She continued “The TDI Challenge exists to show off the innovation and flare of students from across the UK. We’ve seen previous winners of this competition go on to great things and we’re confident that in 2018 we’ll unearth even more top UK talent.”

Steven Gee CEO - Industrial Equipment Division - Close Brothers Asset Finance, said “Close Brothers is delighted to be sponsoring the Technology, Design & Innovation Challenge 2018. We believe that it is important to invest in the next generation and we want to inspire young people to pursue a fulfilling career in engineering. Now more than ever, it is important to address the skills gap that many businesses in the manufacturing technologies industry face. We hope to help close this gap by supporting D&T and Engineering in the curriculum and raising awareness nationwide through the TDI challenge.”

The MTA is delighted that Technology Supplies is to be the official prize sponsor for the TDI Challenge 2018. Rebecca Byrne, Events & PR Manager at Technology Supplies, said “Design and Technology is key in the ever evolving environment we live in, it’s all around us and fundamental in almost everything we do. Fast changing technologies, industry challenges and demands mean that it’s imperative to ensure we are embracing tomorrows designers and engineers; supporting organisations such as MTA to celebrate creativity and innovation helps us in our journey to ensure new and innovative products in education for tomorrows professionals.”

The closing date for entries is Friday 11th May 2018, and the competition is limited to only one application per student or group.  All entries and questions about the competition can be submitted to  Finalists will be notified by Friday 8th June 2018. The TDI Challenge is open to any student living in the United Kingdom.

The final itself will be held at the European Headquarters of MTA Members Yamakazi Mazak at their state of the art facility in Worcester on Wednesday 4th July 2018. The chosen finalists will display their portfolio of work in Mazak's atrium, and give a presentation to the judging panel made up of industry experts who will decide the overall prize winners.

14-16, Dan Kimber

14-16, Jacob Lawson

14-16, Peter Lawson Russell

14-16, Simon Knowles

14-16, Will Bailey

17-19, Bethanie Martin

17-19, Halimah Ershad

17-19, Hannah Cowie

17-19, Myles Lydon

17-19, Sam Taylor-Jones

17-19, Team Josephson

17-19, Team Unite