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The University of Southampton

Students top European design contest

Published: 24 April 2002

A team of Civil and Mechanical Engineering students from the University of Southampton has been awarded first prize in a European design competition organized by the European Pultrusion Technology Association (EPTA).

The brief was to design an elevated bicycle highway to provide a link between the city of Amsterdam and Schiphol International Airport. The cycleway had to be constructed from pultruded Fibre Reinforced Polymer composites (FRP), and contain three cycle lanes within a fully enclosed and safe environment. The students used the shape of a tulip for their structure-the national flower of the Netherlands.

Their cycleway also featured elliptical windows and curved surfaces, in keeping with the architecture found at the airport.

The team additionally had to consider health and safety features and the environmental impact as well as alternative sources of energy.

Team member James Barber said: "Throughout this project teamwork skills were developed by the whole group, and each team member had the opportunity to act as Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer. The allocation of a budget to the project by the University, and the additional sponsorship from SP Systems, FibreForce and Scott Bader, has given the group the opportunity to appreciate the financial aspects of an engineering design project."

Notes for editors

  1. A digital image of the bicycle highway and an image of the winning team are available from Press and Public Relations.
  2. The University of Southampton is a leading UK teaching and research institution with a global reputation for leading-edge research and scholarship. The University, which celebrates its Golden Jubilee in 2002, has 20,000 students and over 4,500 staff and plays an important role in the City of Southampton. Its annual turnover is in the region of £215 million.
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