While being the centenary of the Royal Air Force’s inception, 2018 was also a year of many firsts, including the RAF100 National Engineering Competition.
Personnel from across the UK submitted their engineering projects, resulting in a total of 26 finalists; comprising 16 youth teams and ten Whole Force teams. There would only be one winner though, and that was the ingenious Bioremediation project, developed by personnel of No. 47 Squadron, who have designed a prototype and attracted investment from the Defence Innovation Unit (DUI).
The No. 47 Squadron team were keen to develop a project that would reduce the environmental impact of waste petrochemicals and recycle the waste products which could then be used to produce items such as fish food or plant fertiliser, even looking to use carbon capture techniques to ensure there are no residual gases released to the environment.
The team have secured £1.5M Defence and Security Accelerator (DASA) funding to progress their competition entry into prototype production. The DIU and DASA are now looking to hold an industry day at RAF Brize Norton where they will provide a platform for various UK industries to look at the 3 different aspects of the process.
“I could never have imagined this project would have gathered such momentum. This project has shown that with a bit of outside thinking, we can develop systems to minimise the environmental effects of running our aircraft and in this case produce viable products that can be used as natural fertilisers and even fish food. I look forward to watching this project grow, this is just the tip of the iceberg for bioremediation in the RAF.”
Cpl Hayley Woodhall
Project Designer Number 47 Squadron
The team are hopeful that, by September, they will have the right partners on board to put the project into production. Corporal Andrew Coulton, one of the key designers of the project, will be at the RAF Cosford Airshow, on Sunday 9th June, where he will showcase the competition winning project.