Siemens finds young talents at the engineering hackathon

Siemens has uncovered a pipeline of future talent through a 48-hour engineering hackathon.

The Sir William Siemens Challenge was designed to identify emerging engineering talent from across the UK and to give young people a taste of what it is like to work for a leading technology company.

The competition, held at the University of Birmingham, brought together more than 70 students from 27 UK universities studying engineering, mechatronics, robotics or digital majors such as computer science, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, telecommunications or a related degree.

Multidisciplinary teams of seven were challenged to build and program a unique mechanical/electrical device that brings to life data from Mindsphere, Siemens’ industrial cloud-based operating system.

Teams were given access to a massive selection of kits packed with essential materials and components, giving them the flexibility to build almost any benchtop device they could imagine.

Such was the talent on display that Siemens offered 30 attendees access to internship or graduation opportunities in Siemens’ Digital Industries, Smart Infrastructure, and Mobility businesses.

The winners, Team Simocast, consisting of Subhaan Hussain, Axel Gonzalez, George Edwards, Alexandru Spinu, Dumitru Mavris and Ayman Hussain, created a robotic flower with petals and an LED array that opens and closes based on temperature and changes color based on carbon monoxide – and oxygen content in the room.


Sir William Siemens Challenge 2022 at the University at Birmingham – participants, mentors and judges

Sir William Siemens Challenge 2022 at the University at Birmingham – participants, mentors and judges


Dumitru, 20, is originally from Bucharest and is studying BSc Computer Science at the University of Birmingham.

He said: “As a computer science student, it was amazing to interact with engineering disciplines and see my code come to life.

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“The hackathon was a great experience and I would highly recommend it to any student.”

The runner-up was team Vectron, with Ben Broadbent, Hannah Bentley, Shadi Madieh, Vedika Bedi, Alejandra Francisco and Waleed Hamad created a miniature version of the competition room with model “humans” that lit up to represent increased cadence and carbon dioxide levels, an LED array that changed based on carbon monoxide levels, and a rotating display to show Time of day display.

Hannah, 23, from Beith, North Ayrshire, is studying MSc Mechatronics and Automation with Product Design Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

She said: “Although it was intense, it was great fun working with a team from different degrees and disciplines and really putting into practice the project management and design principles I learned during my studies.

“It was great to be able to implement a plan and design so quickly and end up with a working device. Overall it was a very rewarding experience.”

Amelia Donaldson, Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist at Siemens, said: “Now in its fifth year, the Sir William Siemens Challenge has become an exceptional annual showcase for engineering and digital talent emerging from UK universities.

“Having moved the competition online during the pandemic, we were delighted to return to an in-person event.

“We are pleased to be able to offer so many young people the opportunity to start their successful careers at Siemens.”

Colin Morris, Lead Development Engineering Manager at Siemens Mobility, said on behalf of the jury: “The jury was blown away by the quality of the competition and the breadth of innovations showcased throughout the weekend.

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“There was a clear demonstration of adaptability, collaboration and problem-solving skills from all teams.

“The winners distinguished themselves through excellence in the data-driven, technical and creative elements.”

For details on all career opportunities at Siemens, including internships, apprenticeships and graduate programs, see siemens.co.uk/earlycareers

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