For over a decade the Manufacturing Technologies Association’s (MTA) annual Technology, Design and Innovation (TDI) Challenge, has been shining a light on young designers and engineers. The nationwide competition for schools aims to encourage teenagers to recognise the opportunities of a career in engineering and further develop their practical knowledge of modern manufacturing. 

This year’s TDI Challenge final took place on Wednesday 8th July at Yamazaki Mazak’s European Headquarters in Worcester. The competition was open to all Design and Technology (D&T) students from across the UK. From these entries a shortlist of eleven finalists were chosen by the MTA’s Education and Training committee to attend the final judging day and award ceremony in Worcester.


The judging was split into two age groups; 14-16 years old and 17-19 years old, with one winner being chosen from each group. The finalists impressed the judges with the high calibre of design projects and the engineering talent on show. Only one entry from each category could claim the coveted crown of TDI challenge winner 2015.


In the 14-16 year old category the award was won by Geoffrey Sheir from Tonbridge School with his Beep Trainer project. The judges felt that Geoffrey’s project showed a wide range of skills from design through to manufacturing. They felt he was clearly talented, had good artistic skills and had created a simple but effective product. 

Geoffrey said of his experience of the day that “it was an Incredible opportunity to experience both other people’s projects and different types of manufacturing.”

The 17-19 category was a close run race, but Victoria Taylor from Balcarras School in Cheltenham prevailed with her Electrigrow project, a space saving way of growing plants and herbs indoors. The judges were impressed with the range of materials, processes and equipment used in this project. They were delighted with the level of prototyping carried out and thought this was an innovative product.

Victoria happily collected her prize and said, “I was delighted to win second place for my AS project last year and so have been both surprised and pleased to win this year for my A2 project. The finals day was really great and it was exciting to speak with the other finalists and see their projects.”

The two overall winners were praised by Alan Pickering, chair of the MTA Education and Training Committee and managing director of Unison, who said; “The judging panel were impressed with the wide range of projects at this year’s final. Particular credit must go to the two winner Geoffrey and Victoria who proved once again that the UK has some really talented youngsters, who we need to nurture and encourage to pursue a career in engineering”.