Engineers Without Borders Challenge 2020/2021

The Engineers Without Borders Challenge is a teaching format for universities and enables students to practically apply their theoretically acquired knowledge to real problems from the everyday life of Engineers Without Borders. As a further motivation, the solution developed by the winning team is put into practice by the Engineers without Borders.

The Challenge 2020/2021 deals with the problem of deforestation in the developing country of Nepal. The resulting destructive forest fires are causing problems for the 85% rural population. The students could choose between three options: Tools for harvesting wood, logistics for transporting biomass, and optimizing the charring process. The great challenge in all three tasks is to find a solution that is as simple as possible, can be implemented on site, is cost-effective and also finds acceptance among the rural population.

At NORDAKADEMIE, participation in the Challenge was offered as part of the Sustainability Project Engineering Seminar, led by Martin Hieronymus and Silvia Möller. After the introductory event in November 2020, three teams were formed, one for each task.

The team members were selected by the students.

Despite purely virtual collaboration, all three NORDAKADEMIE teams delivered excellent results and were able to fight their way into the top 10, out of a total of 32 solutions submitted by all participating universities, via voting. The top 10 results were presented on 16.02. in the course of the virtual final event with the help of 3 minute short videos in front of a jury of experts, who finally chose the first 3 places. The team from the Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen-Nuremberg won first place with a modular charring oven called "boiler stove".


Even though it was not enough for the NORDAKADEMIE teams to win one of the three places in the end, the jury was very pleased with their performance. Especially by the presented learning process and the used "Design Thinking" approach, which was introduced to the students by a guest lecture of Sandra-Luisa Moschner.

We congratulate all teams on their great results and look forward to the next Engineers Without Borders Challenge.