Rector’s grants awarded – most interesting student projects at AGH UST

photo by AGH UST Krakow Student Photo Agency

Over PLN 900,000 for 82 student projects – it is the amount of financial support allocated for student special interest groups at AGH UST in this year’s edition of “Rector’s Grant”. Funding for the implementation of students’ ideas will be provided, inter alia, to the teams building autonomous solar vehicles, wind turbines, and a manned drone.

The competition “Rector’s Grant 2021” received 94 applications, of which 82 will be granted funding in the total amount of PLN 923,030. Projects that were most highly rated by the competition jury are the so-called “strategic grants”. They are tasks whose results will be seen in the long term, and ones that are likely to be scientifically or constructionally successful.

The largest financial support will be provided to the project of an autonomous solar boat developed by AGH Solar Boat, which differs from the previous designs in an autonomous drive. At the same time, an autonomous plane powered by solar energy is being developed by the Special Interest Group “AGH Solar Plane”. Among strategic grants there are also hybrid rockets, which will be worked on and improved by AGH Space Systems, and a sport motorcycle, which will be built from scratch by E-Moto AGH. Some of the most interesting strategic grants include a futuristic, hydrogen-fuelled racing car called Hydrive, as well as projects of wind turbines, a manned drone, and a pneumatic vehicle named Zephyr AGH.

There are also interesting student ideas among honoured basic grants. Autonomous drones will be constructed by two AGH UST special interest groups: Avader is building a racing drone, and AGH Drone Engineering is building a courier-inspector. The Special Interest Group “Piorun” will take advantage of 3D printing to build an electric motor, and the Special Interest Group “Eko-Energia” will design a laboratory for the conversion of solar energy. AGH UST will also become home to new robots, e.g. walking, six-legged Zebulon, and a cave rover called ZAWRAT, which will provide support in mountain rescue. Environmentally-friendly projects include, for example, biodegradable packaging for food of short use-by date, and a model of silent surface that will use pressure for the production of electrical energy. There is also a project inspired by the coronavirus pandemic – the Special Interest Group “Sensor” is developing an interactive, intelligent biometric platform for the identification of potential infection, the so-called “COVIDGuard”.

“We are very pleased that the pandemic did not stop the creativity of our students, and that we can still support their innovative projects,” says professor Jerzy Lis, AGH UST Rector. “It is already the sixth edition of the “Rector’s Grant” competition, which was started just for the purpose of providing real financial support to student projects. Every year, we see how the financial means allocated for this purpose from the university budget bear fruit and pay off – our special interest groups and organisations take part in international competitions, improve their designs, and offer more and more courageous technological solutions,” emphasises the university Rector.