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Published: 20 October 2016

Engineering student wins Internet of Things innovation competition

A Surrey engineering student has been recognised by Bosch for her vision of how the Internet of Things (IoT) might transform the way we live our lives.

The University of Surrey Stag by the entrance to the campus

IoT connects sensors, software and services, using internet-enabled devices to produce actions or outcomes that can simplify everyday tasks. 

Maz Chowdhury, who is studying chemical engineering, has invented an automated watering system linked to ground-based sensors to ensure that lawns and plants receive exactly the right amount of water they need.

She was one of three winners of a competition organised by Bosch as part of its #BetweenUsWeCan campaign, which supports efforts to improve gender diversity within engineering. Entrants needed to describe an innovation that, by harnessing the universal connectivity of the IoT, would make the world a better place.

Maz will now get the chance to pay a two-day visit to Bosch’s Renningen and Reutlingen research and development facilities near Stuttgart and receive a year’s mentoring from Bosch engineers.

Steffen Hoffmann, President of Bosch in the UK, said: “At a time of chronic skill shortages within engineering, the competition provided a platform for women to demonstrate the ambition to solve problems and ideas to change the world. We challenged the brightest young female engineers to think about how the IoT might transform our lives, and they certainly delivered.

“The three winners showed that they have imagination and creativity. Each of them had also given thought as to how their ideas might work in practice.”

The judging panel included Professor Danielle George, Vice Dean for Teaching and Learning at the University of Manchester and Presenter of the Royal Institution’s 2014 Christmas Lectures; Dr Steffen Hoffmann, President of Bosch UK; Jon Excell, Editor of The Engineer magazine and website; and Sarah Claridge, Qualified Engineer and Account Director at Technical Associates Group.

Professor George said: “The competition produced some fantastic ideas that could change the way we go about our lives. Also, at a time of skills shortages across industry, it has been a great way of enthusing the next-generation of female role models.”

View Maz’s winnng YouTube entry.