HYDROCONTEST 2016 : SUCCESS FOR SWITZERLAND AND FOR FRANCE
At the third edition of the HydroContest on Lake Geneva in Lausanne, some 250 students from 12 countries competed on energy efficiency with their remote-controlled boats.The top Swiss and French schools have dominated the 2016 edition.
The HydroContest*, an international competition and laboratory for the boats of tomorrow tests the prototypes designed by teams of students from top engineering and naval architecture schools. Each team is given an electric engine, a grant and one year to design a boat with maximum dimensions of 2.5 x 2.5 x 2 metres. Teams compete in two categories: the Mass Transport category in which each vessel must hold 200 kg of ballast to simulate the displacement of a cargo vessel, and the Private Boats category in which the prototypes, loaded with 20 kg, represent leisure boats. The aim is to develop new ideas to revolutionise maritime transportation to carry more, faster and with less energy.
For 2016, in the “light weight” category, the Centrale from Nantes affirmed their authority with a simple design and a classic displacement catamaran, whilst against all odds, ENSTA Bretagne – Paris-La-Villette won in the “heavy weight” category after a very tight match against the team from HEIA Fribourg in Switzerland. The long-distance race was marked by the triumph of Freiburg’s Haute Ecole d’Ingénierie et d'Architecture (HEIA). In addition to these three awards, several others were presented: Lightweight Innovation, Heavyweight Innovation, Eco-Design, Communication and HydroContest Spirit.
“Light weight” category Trophy: Centrale Nantes (France)
“Heavy weight” category Trophy: ENSTA Bretagne – Paris-La-Villette (France)
Long-distance race category Trophy: HEIA Fribourg (Switzerland)
“Light weight” Innovation prize: EPFL (Switzerland)
“Heavy weight” Innovation prize: HEIG-VD (Switzerland)
Eco-Design prize: EPFL (Switzerland)
Communication prize: University of Southampton (England)
HydroContest Spirit prize: HEIA Fribourg (Switzerland)
- The Innovation prize in the “light weight” category was won by the EPFL with their flying prototype. Always at the leading edge of technology, the local students used a “palper”, a rod in contact with the water to self-regulate the boat’s flying height. This, combined with an inertial navigation system, technology often used by drones.
- As for the “heavy weight” category, the innovation prize was awarded to the HEIG team from Vaud, optimising fluids on the boat’s propulsion.
- The Eco-design prize, awarded by Roland Jourdain’s Fondation Explore, was won by the EPFL. An extremely well-developed environmental impact study of their boat set them apart from the other teams.
- The Communication prize was won by Southampton whose clear and organised promotion was combined with a touch of very British humour. Their crash into the pontoon at the start of the week was turned into a humoristic video.
Lastly, the HydroContest Spirit prize, based on teams’ votes, went to Fribourg’s HEIA, for always being ready to lend a helping hand to other teams, even when they were in direct competition.
* As a main sponsor of the HydroContest, Lombard Odier shares with Hydros common values like the search for performance, a capacity for innovation, overcoming challenges and highlighting individual and collective talents. To learn more, please click here.
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