The international team of engineering students from Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) became the 3rd place winners at the European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC) 2019, which took place in Turin, Italy earlier this month. In the competition, student teams from all over Europe were solving challenges provided by experts from famous technology corporations.
Lithuania in the competition was represented by the KTU team consisting of students from the faculties of Mechanical Engineering and Design and Electrical and Electronics Engineering. Four students or recent graduates took part in the competition: Bruno Pratusiavicius from Brazil, Chaitanya Mundhe and Gulzar Neelesh Sharma from India and Lithuanian Liudvikas Milkintas.
“Lithuanians had a straight, but tough way into the finals as the competition started with teams from 84 cities. After the first stage there was regional competition, and its winners were competing in the finals. There’s no one formula for success, but the winners usually are exceptionally inventive, smart and creative. They represent the concept called thinking outside the box”, says Mindaugas Juškevičius, the Lithuanian representative of BEST (Board of European Students of Technology), the organiser of the annual EBEC competition.
This year, the European regions were represented by the teams from Russia, Poland, Belgium, Italy, Slovenia, Lithuania, Romania, Greece, Germany, Hungary and Czech.
The challenges or cases were provided by Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Avia Aveiro manufacturers of aircraft details and systems, ABB and other global industry leaders. The complexity and diversity of the EBEC tasks allow the participation of students from different engineering fields and subjects.
“We had a very diverse, international team, which, together with a clear division of the functions, was among the main factors of our success. I found my role in the team in the second day of our work, and I am very excited that we managed not only to get to the final but also to take the 3rd place”, says Liudvikas Milkintas.
According to him, the competition was very tough, as the challenges were kept in secret until the morning of each day of the four-day event. Each team had only 8 hours for every task, therefore, there was no time for long discussions. Also, the presentation of the solution was very important as every company had their expectations of how the different ideas should be represented.
What should be the optimal size of the plane so it best met environmental requirements and financial expectations? What changes should be made to the system of charging electrical cars? How to rebuild the autonomic car? What systemic changes should be implemented in the streets of Turin to sustainably manage the transport flow?
“We were expecting tasks, which would require technical skills, however, for solving some of them we needed knowledge from economy or management. These integrated tasks were the most challenging in the competition”, says Milkintas.
According to him, although winning in the EBEC finals is a great achievement, the main asset is new skills and knowledge that one acquires in similar competitions.
EBEC is a 3 level, a team-based competition organised annually since 2003 by the BEST Board of European Students of Technology, which unites students from 96 universities in 34 countries.