A KES team of aspiring engineers, known by their team name Fractal 4×4, has won the South West Regional Final of the Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge, securing themselves a place in the UK National Final in March.

The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge is one of the world’s best project-based STEM challenges and culminates in a World Final. Students work in small teams to design and build a Land Rover of the future to specifications set by real Jaguar Land Rover engineers. Participating teams build a radio controlled 4×4 vehicle which must successfully navigate and complete obstacles on an off-road test track that is just as demanding as the real thing, emulating the capabilities of a full size 4×4 vehicle.

The winning KES Fractal 4×4 team, who won an additional prize for best engineered vehicle, were joined in the South West Regional Final by a second KES team, called Modulus who also won recognition from the judges and gained an award for best research and development. The South West Regional Final took place at the Flybe Training Academy near Exeter.

During the regional heat the KES teams had to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge & understanding of their vehicle’s suspension, chassis and wheels. The day involved a verbal presentation and engineering interview ahead of testing their vehicle on a demanding obstacle course.

The Land Rover 4×4 in Schools Technology Challenge aims to raise awareness, interest and enthusiasm in engineering through the practical application of Design & Technology, Mathematics and Science. The Challenge’s organisers, Land Rover, also encourage teams to identify sponsors and partners to support their project and the winning KES Fractal 4×4 team were delighted that Bristol-based engineering company, Sitec, and the University of Bath were among their mentors, as well as Refil, makers of recycled 3D printed filament and cloud-based service providers, ServiceNow.

Commenting on the competition, Land Rover said: ‘The engineering industry requires creative, multi-disciplined individuals who are capable of problem solving through individual tasks and working in motivated teams. Our Challenge replicates a ‘real-life’ work situation where specialists come together to share intellectual and practical ideals to resolve a complex problem.”

The winning KES Fractal 4×4 team comprises: Alex Christopherson, Morgan Jones, Xavier Raynes and Finn Williams.