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Brave students enter the Dragon's Den

Students get the opportunity to put their presentation skills to the test.

The panel of 'dragons' Students from the University of Bath’s Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering were put through their paces in a Dragon’s Den style event earlier this year

The Challenge

The eight teams were asked to find a solution to a problem and then had to present their ideas to a panel comprising members of the Department’s Industrial Advisory Board, including IET Past President Barry Brooks. Not only did the teams have to devise a technical solution to the problem that they were given, but they had to research their customers and competitors, ensure their business case was financially viable, investigate routes to market and overcome any political or cultural issues there might be. The ideas that the students presented varied greatly. Pitches included a calibration tool for bungee jump ropes, improving GPS performance in Africa to enable better road and rail traffic management, a helmet sensor system to assess more quickly and accurately the impact of head injuries sustained in rugby matches and a UAV sensor system that provided data about the conditions of fields so that farmers could optimise the use of their land for agriculture.

The winning team

The panel judged the winner to be the team that pitched the idea of an energy management system, a project based on managing energy consumption to reduce health and safety risks. “The rising concerns and costs relating to fires or other energy related incidents have led to a greater demand for safety products and procedures,” the team said. “Our product will reduce the frequency of fires and wasted energy caused by unattended cooking.” All teams were given a university goodie bag for taking part and the winners also received an IET extendable phone charger. “The IET is delighted to be involved in events such as these, reinforcing our links through the Academic Partner and On Campus campaigns, and participating in the Industry Advisory Boards,” Barry notes. “These events are an excellent opportunity for students to tackle real world problems, applying their knowledge and managing projects and stakeholders. “I was very impressed with the calibre of work the students produced, their presentational skills and teamwork."