University Challenge 2019

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TRADA is officially calling for entrants to their TRADA University Challenge 2019 in which students will be challenged to design exemplary student accommodation predominantly from timber.


If you are in your 3rd year (4th year in Scotland) and studying engineering, architecture, architectural technology, quantity surveying or landscape architecture and have an interest in furthering your knowledge about timber as part of a multidisciplinary student team, then our 2019 challenge is for you.


TRADA is now accepting entries for the TRADA University Challenge 2019 taking place in Sheffield on Friday 8 and Saturday 9 February 2019. There are 60 places available to 3rd year (4th year in Scotland) UK university students.


We are looking for: 20 Architects; 20 Engineers; 10 Landscape Architects; and 10 Quantity Surveyors. Universities are asked to nominate one student per discipline and one reserve.


Our venue is the University of Sheffield’s Diamond Building. On arrival you will be split into ten multidisciplinary teams, to compete for cash prizes and the prestige of winning the TRADA University Challenge 2019. Each team will consist of 2 Architects, 2 Engineers, 1 Landscape Architect and 1 Quantity Surveyor.


Building on the success of Urban Buzz 2018, this year’s competition will follow the same format – an intense charrette-styled challenge. Our new design brief is “student accommodation”. To provide authenticity and additional context, a live site has been chosen for this challenge; not only will you design to a tight brief, using relevant timber and timber products, you will have to work around real life constraints, delivering a useful and stimulating real life experience.


Pioneering design professionals and industry members will be on-hand throughout the competition supplying helpful information, support and guidance. Matching the diverse body of contestants, a mixed but experienced panel of judges is being assembled.


The TRADA University Challenge 2019 is an incredible opportunity for students to engage with forerunners of the timber industry and gain fantastic practical insight into working with timber, and for the design and industry professionals to engage with ‘tomorrow’s timber talent’.



The challenge:

You and your team will be asked to design exemplary student accommodation predominantly from timber. You will be given the brief a week prior to the competition to give you time to prepare. A live site has been chosen, so there will be a number of real life constraints to consider. Each discipline will have a different area to focus on, but the final submission will require your team to provide a holistic solution.


Venue: Diamond Building, Sheffield.


Date / Time: 9.30am Friday 8 February to 5pm Saturday 9 February 2019.


Prizes: £3,000 will be divided between the members of the four placed teams – 1st £200; 2nd £150; 3rd £100; and 4th £50.


Accommodation: Hotel accommodation will be provided for students living outside Sheffield on Thursday 7 and Friday 8 in twin-rooms. Students should arrive at the accommodation by 10 pm on Thursday 7 February. Please contact the organiser for further details.


Travel expenses: Second class rail travel to Sheffield with a student railcard discount will be reimbursed to students of full TRADA University Members only. This will be post competition on the production of the travel receipt. Students from non-member universities will need to fund their own travel.


Food and drink: All students will be provided with food and drink. On Friday this will include breakfast, lunch and dinner, and on Saturday breakfast and lunch. Students will be responsible for their own meals on Thursday.


Entry requirements: You are a 3rd year (4th year in Scotland) student studying engineering, architecture, architectural technology, quantity surveying or landscape architecture at a UK University.


Applications for entry: Applications will only be accepted on official entry forms, available from the beginning of November 2018. Course lecturers are required to submit the form, with one student per university per course and one reserve. Entry closes on 23 November at 5pm. Lecturers and students will be informed by 29 November if they have successfully secured a place.


Practical issues: Students will need to provide their own laptop and software; access to the internet is via Eduroam. Printers, modelling materials and access to the iForge, a fully equipped workshop, will be available on both days. Students are welcome to bring further aids, items or materials that they regularly use. It is recommended that students travel by rail as parking is limited and expensive. The hotel and venue are within 20 minutes’ walk from the station.



Many thanks to our sponsors and supporters TTF, Steico, Stora Enso, PEFC, and Wood for Good.


3rd year students (or 4th year if applying from Scotland) of engineering, architecture, architectural technology, quantity surveying and landscape architecture from UK universities are eligible to enter.


To request an application form to enter, please contact TRADA's University Engagement Manager, Tabitha Binding, on or 01494 569631. Course lecturers are required to submit the form, with one student per university per course and one reserve.