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Chemical Engineering student wins national Internet of Things innovation competition for women in engineering

Maz Chowdhury, a Chemical Engineering student at Surrey has been recognised by Bosch for her vision of how the Internet of Things (IoT) might transform the way we live our lives. Maz has invented an automated watering system to ensure a perfect lawn.  The invention of the garden watering and irrigation system was linked to ground-based sensors to ensure that lawns and plants would receive exactly the right amount of water they needed.

  • University of Surrey female engineer Maz Chowdhury recognised for her inspiring vision of how the Internet of Things will improve lives
  • #BetweenUsWeCan campaign sought best Internet of Things (IoT) innovations
  • Competition designed to shine a light on female talent in engineering
  • Winners to visit Bosch’s state-of-the-art facilities in Germany

A young female engineer from the University of Surrey, Maz Chowdhury has been recognised by Bosch for her vision of how the Internet of Things (IoT) might transform the way we live our lives.  

The Internet of Things (IoT) connects sensors, software and services, using internet enabled devices to produce actions or outcomes that can simplify everyday tasks.  IoT enabled solutions can be used in both industry and for consumers.

Maz Chowdhury is studying Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey and has invented an automated watering system to ensure a perfect lawn.  Maz’s invention of the garden watering and irrigation system was linked to ground-based sensors to ensure that lawns and plants would receive exactly the right amount of water they needed.  She submitted her entry via YouTube https://youtu.be/txVvtJ6Bsmk.   Along with Sophie Spooner and Ka Man Wong, Maz was selected a winner of the competition that sought to find the best new applications of the IoT.  The competition forms part of Bosch’s #BetweenUsWeCan campaign, which supports efforts to improve gender diversity within engineering.

Along with Maz Chowdhury’s invention of a sensor-based water irrigation system that could ensure the perfect lawn, the other winners invented smart glass with micro-cameras that could record unauthorised entry into a vehicle and a computerised recycling container that could incentivise consumers to recycle waste materials.

The three winners, all of whom are engineering students, will now get the chance to pay a two-day visit to Bosch’s state-of-the-art Renningen and Reutlingen research and development facilities near Stuttgart, in Germany. This is where IoT technologies are being developed and brought to life for Bosch. The winners will also 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 other winners were Sophie Spooner, studying communications engineering at Aston University in Birmingham, imagined the use of front and rear window-mounted micro-cameras that could record video footage in the wake of unauthorised entry into a vehicle. The security system could send the images to the car owner’s smartphone and Ka Man Wong, an engineering student at the University of Bath who envisaged a multi-sensory recycling container that could classify the type of waste that consumers were recycling, employing a points-based incentivisation scheme to reward them accordingly.

Entries for the competition were assessed by an expert judging panel including 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 Danielle George from the University of Manchester stressed: “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.”

For more details on the IoT competition, and to watch a winners' video, visit:  www.bosch.co.uk/betweenuswecan

Discover more about Chemical Engineering programmes at Surrey or explore Department of Chemical and Process Engineering in more detail.

 

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University of Surrey Press Office

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