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University of Hull engineering students qualify for prestigious national final with innovative environmental solution


A group of engineering students have proposed a ground-breaking environmental solution which has landed them one of the ten qualifying places in the national final of The 2019 Engineers in Business Fellowship (EIBF). The students are calling on anyone who is passionate about tackling climate change to vote for their solution, which will contribute to the scores awarded by the judges during the final on 28 October at Royal Academy of Engineering in London.

The University of Hull engineering students have conducted cutting edge work in aid of developing alternatives to oil-based plastics which could help reduce plastic waste consumption and protect our planet.

Engineering students Dom Butler, Heather Charlesworth and Oyin Oladimeji were given the task of researching methods and products which could help the University reduce its plastic waste consumption, with the ultimate aim of helping reduce plastic waste in the ocean.

Their innovative solution was to encourage the University to add fibre-based plastics into the supply chain. Fibre based plastics are developed using hemp plants, which decompose more rapidly than conventional plastics, making them a significantly more environmentally friendly alternative as well as providing a business opportunity for farmers.

Dom Butler said: “Barriers still exist which disincentivise hemp cultivation by farmers, so by raising the profile and awareness of the product, it is hoped that progress can be made in making it easier for farmers to grow it in Yorkshire.”

The group have been invited to present their innovation at the awards presentation in front of an audience and a panel of judges, hosted at the Royal Academy of Engineering in London on 28 October.

Entrepreneurship Manager, Paula Gouldthorpe said, "The Engineers in Business competition crucially helped them as our future engineers to recognise the importance of enterprise, entrepreneurial thinking and business acumen - encouraging them to look beyond their technical capabilities. For the university, the prize fund built upon and strengthened the careers and entrepreneurship links with our Science and Engineering Faculty, and our students were equipped with knowledge and skills to create innovative solutions for social, economic and environmental change”.

Finalists from various universities will be judged on their idea’s originality, how it addresses societal needs, whether there is a defined target audience and the benefits it can provide them with, the idea’s viability and the effectiveness of how it is communicated.

The public will also be able to vote for their favourite innovation, which will be contributed alongside the judge’s scores.

Winners will benefit from a share of £10,000, a CV package, mentoring by Sainsbury Management Fellow and promotional support, to help them develop careers and pursue new engineering initiatives.

Show your support and cast your vote here.

Find out more about the University’s engineering courses and how students are encouraged to help tackle society’s biggest challenges, visit the open day on 2nd or 23rd November by registering at

Find out more about the Mechanical Engineering courses available at the University.



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