Engineering student reaches finals of Telegraph
STEM Awards 2017
Snowdon, 21, from Great Ayton in North Yorkshire, is a Mechanical Engineering
student at the University of Chester and become a finalist at the prestigious Telegraph STEM Awards 2017.
Now in its
fourth year, the Telegraph STEM
awards encourage the most talented and ambitious UK science, technology,
engineering and mathematics undergraduates to push themselves beyond their
degree syllabuses, and impress some of the biggest names in the industry.
Entrants have the chance to win a £25,000 cash prize, plus a bespoke mentoring
Caption: Maisie Snowdon in the lab.
entered the competition with her dissertation project which was inspired by the
falconers at Chester Cathedral Falconry and the present poor battery life of
the tracking devices used to monitor the birds of prey. Her project looks at
harvesting the energy used by a falcon in flight. She has been researching the
use of a piezoelectric energy harvester on a device that the Cathedral falconry
use to track their falcons.
submitted a 10 slide presentation about her idea within the Energy Harvesting
category and was shortlisted from 20 other candidates, then invited along with
four others to London to present their ideas to two judges from SEMTA (the
Science, Engineering and Manufacturing Technologies Alliance, a not-for-profit
organisation responsible for engineering skills for the future of the UK’s most
Folan, Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, said: “Maisie's
achievement in reaching the final of the Telegraph
STEM Awards 2017 is fantastic news for the Department. It highlights our
hands-on approach, helping students to achieve their full potential, and allows
us to showcase the broad range of modern engineering skills we offer in our
degrees that are in demand by cutting-edge industries.”
Maisie said: “I wanted to see if it was possible to
harvest energy from the birds’ movement while flying. The falconry at the Cathedral
kindly lent me one of its radio transmitters to use in my experiments. I also
worked with one particular Gyrfalcon – ‘Buck’ - chosen due to his flight
patterns, because he is a cliff bird. I attended a show where they flew Buck,
so that I could record his flight with the existing tracker and estimate the
frequency and amplitude of his tail movements for energy harvesting.”
The winner will be announced on June 16.