Student success with water and energy project

The LRBAR-UPEN sustainability competition finalists and judges

The LRBAR-UPEN sustainability competition finalists and judges

A student derived project that could reduce water usage and the carbon footprint for sailing team, Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (LRBAR), is the winning entry in the first student sustainability competition jointly run by LRBAR and the University of Portsmouth Environment Network (UPEN).

The project would improve and optimise an existing rainwater harvesting system at the LRBAR team base in Old Portsmouth and integrate a closed loop hydrogen system to harness energy outside of working hours and act as an extra energy store.

Seven teams competed, taking part in workshops and discussions with LRBAR staff as they developed and refined their solutions to real-world problems LRBAR face. Two finalists were selected by University Judges and presented to senior members of the LRBAR team and their official sustainability partners, 11th Hour Racing, during the America’s Cup world series in July 2016.

The winning team, bringing together five students from Geography, Electronic Engineering and Computer Science, have subsequently secured work placements with the LRBAR team over the summer. In addition, their project will undergo a feasibility study with the potential for further career-enhancing opportunities.

With the competition’s success, LRBAR and UPEN are now planning for a second competition with the potential for it to become an annual event.

Winning team member, Maxwell Falstein, said: “It has been very rewarding and the opportunities do not end with this project thanks to excellent contacts at Land Rover BAR and other sponsors.”

University of Portsmouth Sustainability & Environment Facilitator, Tom Greenwood, said: “All teams showed great understanding of the problems facing the LRBAR team, and how to develop solutions that draw on expertise from different disciplines. This interdisciplinary approach is vital to addressing real-world problems in many situations, particularly with regards to sustainability.”

LRBAR Sustainability Officer, Amy Munro, said: ”The judges were very impressed with the effort and detail from both teams whilst presenting their final projects. Working with the winning team over the summer is an exciting opportunity and we are looking forward to running the competition again.”

Students who would like to be involved in the competition next year, please express your interest at environment@port.ac.uk

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