Team of Birmingham students announced as BP Ultimate Field Trip finalists

A team of undergraduate students from the University of Birmingham have been announced as finalists for the BP 2015 Ultimate Field Trip (UFT), the UK’s leading university STEM competition that asks teams of three students to come up with a solution to a real-world global energy challenge.

The Birmingham finalists are (pictured left to right) Jagjit Chaggar (Chemical Engineering), Stephen Stone (Chemical Engineering) and Richard Hinds (Geography). With over 100 teams entering across the country, they are one of just four teams to make it through to the final stage. The other three finalist teams represent the University of Strathclyde, the University of Sheffield and Imperial College London. 

Now coming into its sixth year, the UFT competition invites university students from diverse backgrounds to put their skills to the test in a real-world challenge that will not only give them a window into the issues facing the energy sector, but also allow them to learn what a career in the oil and gas industry might ultimately involve. 

This year’s challenge was to identify and develop a novel technical solution that will reduce the amount of water utilised and/or find an effective use for water produced from operations. Following initial idea submission, teams were asked to produce a technical poster and present it to BP experts at the semi-final. 

The University of Birmingham team delivered a water recycling proposal in which waste water streams associated with shale oil and gas extraction could be treated with supercritical fluid oxidation so that almost 100% of the water could be recycled and implemented back into either agricultural irrigation networks for commercial return or simply re-used in the ‘fracking’ process. 

Following their success at the semi-final stage, our finalists are now gearing up for The National Final at the British Museum on 10 March, in which they will present their posters and a film to BP Senior Executives before taking part in a Q&A session. 

The prize is a two-week field trip to Trinidad & Tobago, where the winning team from the UK competition will join fellow winners from each of the other three countries to learn about BP’s operations in this market where BP is a major producer of natural gas, as well as spend some leisure time visiting Tobago and the Pigeon Point Heritage Park. Each winning team member will also receive £500 worth of Amazon vouchers.

See the BP website for more on our finalists