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Rocket Stove wins student engineers a place in the finals of national competition

A design for a portable stove which greatly reduces smoke has seen four students from LSBU win a place at the finals of the 2015 Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge
18 June 2015

Supported by the Engineering Council and the Engineering Professors' Council, the EWB Challenge was developed in conjunction with Nepal Water for Health (NEWAH) - an NGO in Nepal working towards clean drinking water, hygiene promotion and sanitation. First and second year students from 23 UK universities were asked to develop design ideas to benefit a hilltop community in the Gorkha district.

LSBU's Adam Kater, Michael James, Alex Jackson and Fathi Muhammad - students on the HND Building Services Engineering course – were given a place in the finals which took place at Nottingham Trent University in June.

The team's prototype 'rocket stove' was created from locally available materials, recyclables and resources. The design tackled the problem of smoke inhalation, which hugely affected the health of the local community in Nepal, by reducing the amount of smoke produced when cooking. Their proposal also utilised the latent heat from the cooker, which can be used in winter months to contribute to the heating of a home.

The group presented and defended their project to a panel of independent judges, including President of the Engineering Professors' Council, Professor Stephanie Haywood, and were commended for the application of the concept and their consideration of how to communicate its use to the community.

Senior Lecturer in LSBU's School of Engineering Alessio Corso said: "The decisions that Engineers make can have an immense impact on the world and the EWB Challenge helps to place a real life context to some of this impact. We try to teach engineering students to consider these things at the heart of any decision that they make.

"I am so proud of Adam, Alex, Michael and Fathi. Their presentation and the manner in which they conducted themselves at the EWB Challenge National Finals was exemplary. Their professionalism shone through; they were quite simply the best ambassadors for London South Bank University that I could have asked for."

Katie Cresswell-Maynard, Head of Learning, Research & Innovation at Engineers Without Borders UK, added: "The team from LSBU came up with an alternative cooking technology to overcome health issues associated with inhaling smoke emitted from traditional methods. Their 'Rocket Stove' used recycled materials available locally and so highlighted the team's sensitivity to making engineering and technology appropriate for both its use and context."

HND Building Services Engineering student Adam Kater said: "The EWB final was an excellent experience. It felt great to be a part of something so rewarding. The challenge also helped me to gain presentation experience which will assist me at work and during the rest of my time at LSBU."