Tuesday, 20 February 2018

SELA student success in The Sir William Siemens Challenge 2018

Brandon O'Connell, SELA Cohort 2016

Last weekend, I was very excited to be partnered with five other fantastic engineers from a variety of disciplines and universities to form Team Simotion, competing in the first Sir William Siemens Challenge, MindsphereLive, with Siemens UK.

The MindSphere is a cloud-based, open IoT operating system from Siemens that connects your products, plants, systems, and machines, enabling you to harness the wealth of data generated by the Internet of Things (IoT) with advanced analytics.

The aim of the event was to creatively challenge and inspire the most talented university students across a variety of engineering subjects. Working in multi-disciplined teams, each team was challenged with using their programming skills to analyse data collected from the Diamond Building's MindSphere installation in order to build a mechanical/electrical device which showcased that data and brought it to life in a unique way. The winning team, would have their creation permanently displayed at the University as well as being offered the opportunity to undertake an internship with Siemens.

'MindsphereLive' saw over 70 students in competing teams tasked with manipulating data collected from Mindsphere Lounge to help build electro / mechanical devices that could creatively bring the data to life.

Based in The Diamond, the University of Sheffield’s flagship engineering building and home of the first Siemens Mindsphere Lounge, I was one of many students from across the UK ready to compete in an intense and fun Engineering challenge, pushing our mental and physical limits.

This was also a great opportunity to use the many skills I have developed through the Sheffield Engineering Leadership Academy (SELA), to help coordinate, collaborate and maintain the right levels of communication with the group, throughout the entire competition.

Combining the huge breadth of experience and skills within Team Simotion, we all worked tirelessly over the 48 hours, late into the night, to produce the “Beating Heart of the Diamond”. This system aimed to personify the building, giving it a true beating heart. The heart rate variation, represented the varied temperature data gathered from the Siemens Mindsphere network within the Diamond Building. The “Brain” and “Ideas” (the fans and polystyrene balls) used power usage data from the Diamond, to alter the fan speed and thus related the more power being used, to the greater number of students generating ideas and learning using the Diamonds resources.

Despite fierce competition, and fantastic concepts from all the teams, I am very proud to say that we were crowned the winners of the first MindsphereLive: The Sir William Siemens Challenge.

On behalf of the team, I want to say a huge thank you to all the Siemens UK staff that made the event so much fun and helped keep us going the whole weekend, either with positive reinforcement and even pizza! Also a massive thank you to the Diamond Engineering Staff, Technicians and the iForge at The University of Sheffield for all their help and support. Especially for letting us use their great space and equipment to make our ideas become a reality.

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