Engineering team from University of Portsmouth in final of national competition for their innovative weather station for biodiversity

AN ENGINEERING team from the University of Portsmouth has made it through to the finals of a top competition.

Thursday, 7th October 2021, 4:30 pm
Updated Monday, 11th October 2021, 1:04 pm
Engineers in Business Competition Finalists: (Left to right) Sainsbury Management Fellow William Burton, a serial entrepreneur, Samuel Gandy, Robert Ball, Victoria Yates and Kieran Wright from the University of Portsmouth.

The team of graduates and students called Wireless Wild has secured a place in the final of the Engineers in Business Champion of Champions competition.

The team has been led by 21-year-old innovation engineering student Kieran Wright. He is joined by 22-year-old innovation engineering student Robert Ball, electronic engineering graduate Samuel Gandy, 23, and international development graduate Victoria Yates, 21.

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They have invented Wild Lens, a device that acts as a weather station for biodiversity, and they will be pitching their innovation against nine other teams in the national final.

A sum of £15,000 is up for grabs, providing vital seed money to help the winners develop their innovation.

The winners will also receive mentoring from business leaders who are members of the Sainsbury Management Fellows network, plus CV packages from Purple CV and entrepreneurial books from Cambridge University Press.

Robert said: ‘To be recognised by the Engineers in Business competition is a very proud achievement for us. Being involved in this competition makes us feel recognised and supported for the effort we have put in. The gift of attending mentoring sessions at the Royal Academy of Engineering has felt like an immense privilege.’

The competition is sponsored by charity Engineers in Business Fellowship and is designed to inspire engineers to study business and innovation.

Robert said: ‘Engineers have a mindset of problem solving. They look at a problem and set about developing solutions. This inventiveness lends itself to entrepreneurial roles where engineers can use their mindset and skills to commercialise their solutions. However, engineers are often lacking the skills needed to successfully run a company. They often understand their product but not the market. Teaching engineers business skills would ensure they understand what it takes to build a healthy company.’

The live online dragons’ den style competition on October 22 will be compered by TV presenter, Rob Bell.

Wireless Wild will have six minutes to convince the judges they should take home a cash prize of between £1,500 and £8,500.

They will be competing against teams from Aberystwyth University, University of Nottingham, University of Aberdeen, University of Exeter, Imperial College London, Nottingham Trent University, University of Birmingham, University of Sheffield and the University of York.