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19 Apr 2017

Mechanical Engineering student reaches finals of Telegraph STEM Awards 2017
Maisie 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 programme.
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Caption: Maisie Snowdon in the lab.


Maisie’s 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.
Maisie 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 advanced sectors).
Dr Paul 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.
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