Robotic farming idea wins ICE student competition

Designs for an underground farm wowed the experts with its eco-friendly ambitions.

Robotic farming idea wins ICE student competition
Robotic farming idea wins ICE student competition

Four school children from Sutton Grammar School have taken the top prize at the Institution of Civil Engineers' (ICE) #ICanEngineer Competition for designing a new underground space in London.

Michal Berkasiuk, Parthiv Dey, Edu Holovatyuk and Columbus Mais-Harding received the award for their 'R U Farming' project which replaces traditional farming methods with a robotic underground farm using conveyor belts to carry and nurture crops electronically.

Showing a keen sense of the engineering required, the students' design covered a number of aspects including cost, environmental impact, safety, social benefits and integration with future planned infrastructure projects.

Their plans state: "RUF is extremely space efficient and so a tunnel 15m in diameter and 1.25km long would be able to feed 10,000 people. London then wouldn't need to ship food in saving thousands of tonnes of emissions because their supplier is right underneath them."

The winning Sutton Grammar students were chosen by a group of engineers including ICE Past President Professor Tim Broyd, who presented them with their trophy and certificates. Three other awards were given out on the day, recognising innovation, community impact and sustainability in the other shortlisted entries.

The winners of the overall #ICanEngineer 2017 competition won a River Thames boat tour to see infrastructure first hand, courtesy of sponsor Tideway. All the winners from the other categories received an assortment of prizes from the other sponsoring engineering organisations: Arup, Highways England and Price and Myers.

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