The University of West Bohemia in Pilsen (UWB) hosted the 19th edition of the interdisciplinary educational project DESING+. Interdisciplinary teams of students from four faculties explored topics requested by and consulted with industrial companies.
This year, the projects focused on transport, industrial manufacturing and care for the elderly and people with disabilities.
The project, which traditionally involves students from at least four faculties of the UWB working on topics selected by external partners, was attended by 63 students this year, representing the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (FME), Ladislav Sutnar Faculty of Design and Art (LSFDA), Faculty of Health Care Studies (FHCD) and Faculty of Economics (FE). Each team of future engineers, designers, economists and health professionals was led by one FME student as manager and a representative from LSFDA.
In the DESING+ project, the name of which is a combination of Design + Mechanical Engineering, students learn more about interdisciplinary teamwork, how to combine their expertise and skills and how to solve current innovative problems under the leadership of Josef Dvořák and Lucie Šimečková from FME, Jan Korabečný and Tomáš Chochole from LSFDA, Rita Firýtová from FHCD and Dita Hommerová from FE in close collaboration with R&D experts and managers from industrial companies. Project participants also applied and verified the principles of Engineering Design Science and Methodology (EDSM), a discipline that has been developed at the FME for decades in collaboration with leading foreign technical universities, largely thanks to Professor Stanislav Hosnedl from FME, who also helped it spread internationally.
Six interdisciplinary teams worked on the selected topics throughout the winter term. On 8 February, the teams presented their results online to the evaluation committee, which featured representatives of the partner companies and the participating faculties of the UWB. The evaluation mainly focused on the design of the proposed solutions, their scope, innovativeness, applicability in practice, systematic approach and level of documentation, quality of presentations and teamwork.
The Pilsen company Faiveley Transport Czech, part of the Wabtec group, proposed the project of a Charging Semi-Pantograph with Aeroacoustic Optimisation. The aim was to innovate the technical system of the pantograph in order to improve aerodynamics and aeroacoustics of the transmission of electrical energy from the traction network while trains are stationary. The requirements for the pantograph included usability in conventional traction systems and pneumatic control; the pantograph also had to allow movement of the train at speeds of up to 250 km/h. The students also focused on the safety and design of the pantograph. From the two teams working on the task, the one led by Petr Dědič (FME) was more successful.
Two interfaculty student teams designed a Handling Device Integrated with a Moulding Machine, proposed by ENGEL strojírenská from Kaplice. The handling device’s task was to transport containers and exchange a full container with an empty one in five seconds. There were specific requirements for size and various characteristics. The winning team was led by Tomáš Reiniger (FME).
Konstruktionsbüro Dostal from Edenstetten assigned the students the task of developing Fitness Equipment for the Elderly and People with Disabilities Usable in Water. The aim was to design an innovative device that will help older people and people with disabilities effectively and safely improve their fitness. Two teams worked on the project, and the winner was the team led by Markéta Petříková (FME).
The winning teams will present their work in English at the 15th DESING+ International Workshop 2023, which will take place this April.
The DESING+ project, established at the UWB in 2004 and developed by Professor Stanislav Hosnedl from FME, was once again implemented under the auspices of Rector Miroslav Holeček. The UWB is convinced that its great strength is in interconnection and multidisciplinarity. Projects based on an interdisciplinary collaboration fulfil the priorities set out in the Strategic Plan for 2021–2025. Since 2004, about 1,600 students from five faculties of the UWB took part in the DESING+ project.