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Last week at the East of England Annual Dinner we launched the Solar Challenge, designed to inspire engineering students whilst promoting solar energy as a viable and renewable energy form.

Teams of pupils and students are invited to design, build and fly model scale aircraft over a measured course in late June 2016. The winner in each age group - ranging from Primary and Secondary Schools to Colleges, Universities and Apprenticeships - will be fighting for a UK or World Record.

These creations will be powered by solar energy through direct conversion of aircraft-mounted cells. Craft may include aeroplanes, helicopters, balloons, zeppelins, air screws, saucers, etc. as long as they are powered by solar energy and are manoeuvrable in flight.

For more information about The Solar Challenge, including how to take part, please visit the dedicated project page.

Any further questions, please contact Sam Rakusen FRSA:



“A major challenge for those of us engaged in higher education is to blend the tradition of rigorous learning of the fundamentals, with this new culture of team-based creativity and pervasive information. Challenges like the RSA Solar Challenge play an important role in showing how these diverse ways of learning work together.”

- Rafael Palacios, Reader & Director of Undergraduate Studies, Imperial College London, Department of Aeronautics

“The best engineering learning experiences provide opportunities for young people to develop technical knowledge alongside their ability to work with others to solve real problems. The Solar Challenge has the potential to provide such an experience as well help young engineers to gain a deep understanding of renewable energy. Setting a world record for model solar flight adds an exciting element to an initiative that will help to inspire prospective engineers.”

- Dr Rhys Morgan, Director of Engineering and Education, The Royal Academy of Engineering


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