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Board of European Students of Technology Competitions Booklet Celebrating 25 years of BEST

European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC) is the largest engineering competition in Europe, conducted by students for students and gathers best European students of engineering.

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Foreword BEST EBEC Project Case Study Team Design Testimonials Support and Recognition Endnote Credentials

Foreword Dear reader, Welcome to the fascinating world of engineering competitions, that BEST is organising throughout the whole Europe. Because BEST is celebrating its 25th anniversary, this booklet from a set of four has come to life in order to emphasise the core services our organisation has to offer to its stakeholders. Engineering Competitions became a part of BEST when some members attended the Canadian Engineering Competition in 2002. They newly gained knowledge as well as enthusiast for these activities spread like wild fire throughout the whole organisation. Therefore, a new project was created and throughout the years, it has developed on a grant scale. After more than 10 years of competitions, BEST has developed a well-known brand of competitions, called European BEST Engineering Competitions. Mihai Tociu President XXVI International Board of BEST


This booklet has been created in order to give a more thorough description about one of the core activities of the organisation. I hope you have an enlightening reading and that this publication will give provide you more information regarding one of the most important services BEST has to offer.

Board of European Students of Techology

BEST is present in 96 technical universities from 33 countries, which makes it a creative, dynamic, innovative, constantly growing and well-organised network of students. We strive to help students become more internationally minded and provide a platform for mutual understanding between different cultures and societies. Our activities support the personal development of students and facilitate interactions among students, universities and companies. To achieve this, we provide career support as well as organise academic courses, engineering competitions, educational symposia and leisure events. BEST enables students to develop their professional careers by connecting them to the leading companies and universities. Every year we organise hundreds of career fairs all over Europe. Additionally, we have developed an online career centre where students can submit their CVs and receive newslettrs with information


BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) is a non-profit, non-political, non-representative students’ organisation with the aim of providing communication, cooperation and exchange possibilities for students of technology since 1989.

BEST Providing communication, cooperation and exchange possibilities for students of technology since 1989.

about special career opportunities or study programmes. BEST has been organising academic courses since 1991. Since then, it organises over 90 short-term courses all over Europe for around 2000 students every year. The topics of these courses have a broad spectrum of all technology fields. During these events, university professors and industry experts give lectures that often involve case studies, practical work, company visits and institutions. At the end of the course, students take part in an examination and also receive a certificate. Furthermore, students have the possibility to receive ECTS credits for attending BEST courses. Competitions Booklet



BEST is deeply committed to provide opportunities for students to express their opinion and talk about their education. It collaborates with thematic networks (ERABEE, EUGENE, EU-VIP, PRO-VIP and StartPro) and educational organisations (ALE, EAN, EUCEN, EUROPACE, IFEES, IGIP, UNESCO and SEFI). Our members attend conferences organised by our partners in order to be in touch with new methods in engineering education as well as to present the work done by BEST. Every year we organise Events on Education that gather BEST members, representatives of educational projects and universities. During these events students take part in discussions where they can share their ideas on educational matters. BEST has been organising engineering competitions since 2003 as a way to develop competences of future engineers. During these events teams of students are challenged to use their creativity, knowledge, social and communication skills to solve a given problem in a limited amount of time. Organising those Engineering Competitions every year, gave us experience and motivation to start to built the biggest European wide engineering competition: EBEC - European BEST Engineering.


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Teams composed by 4 students from technology fields, regardless of the status of their degree, are challenged to solve the tasks that are provided by BEST or by partner companies in 3 different competition levels. The team which proves to be the most efficient, creative and successful at the end of competition finale is granted by “BEST Engineers of Europe” title. EBEC project begins every year by the first Local EBEC Round that is conducted; afterwards moves onwards with several other Local EBEC Rounds as well as National/Regional EBEC Rounds and reaches an end with the EBEC Final event that is organised in beginning of August. The history of the EBEC was lauched in 2002 when BEST members grew interest in Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) - the prototype of the EBEC in Canada. The idea of the student competition was presented at following General Meeting of BEST and was initiated at BEST universities right after.

EBEC Project

European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC) is the largest engineering competition in Europe, conducted by students for students.

European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC) is the largest engineering competition in Europe, conducted by students for students.

There was the use of different names, then after some trials, the current name for the project and the categories were given. BEST European Engineering Competition (BEEC) was the previous name of the EBEC project, but it was changed in 2008 for EBEC - where it had its final shape.

There were different categories of EBEC:Team Design, Debates, Case Study, Negotiations. After years of experience and feedback, Team Design and Case Study are currently the official categories that EBEC pyramid has; as these are being the most practical among others and consequently they are stimulating the enjoyment of competition among participants. Competitions Booklet


EBEC Structure EBEC has a developed chain of contests; a pyramidal structure. It consists of three levels; each level of pyramid refers to relevant rounds that are being held throughout the year:

EBEC Final 15 National & Regional EBEC Rounds 87 Local EBEC Rounds in 32 European Countries Local Round of EBEC is the first round which includes students and organisers from all universities that take part in the project. All EBEC rounds are organised by Local BEST Groups (LBG). While EBEC is becoming more and more popular among LBGs, the amount of participation to the competition chain is increasing by every passing year. When it comes to EBEC 2014 edition, the project is expected to involve 87 Local BEST Groups in 32 European


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countries. National/Regional EBEC Rounds are the second level of EBEC project. Teams that are winners of Local EBEC rounds in their universities are invited to the next stage; either a National or a Regional competition depending on their division in EBEC pyramid. In the framework of project EBEC 2014 there will be 15 National/Regional EBEC Rounds that will represent the second level of EBEC pyramid. Each year more than 600 participants attend the second level of competitions in order to prove their practical skills and to be qualified for the final event. Last but not least, EBEC Final event is organised every year after the second level of competitions as the peak gathering for the finalists that are confident in teamwork, creativity and innovative approach to problems in society or industry. EBEC 2014 Final event is aiming at gather 120 final participants out of 15 National/Regional EBEC Rounds. During nine days of the event which includes four competition days, participants are practicing engineering approaches that they learned in their studies under limited amount of time, material and external access.

On the chart below, the amount of participation to EBEC Final event can be found:

Year 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013

Hosting Number of LBG Finalists Ghent 80 104 Cluj-Napoca 104 İstanbul Zagreb 96 Warsaw 120

Total Number of Participants in Local Levels 2300 5000 5000 5000 6500

The realisation of EBEC Final event is only possible by cooperation of supporters, partners and several internal bodies of BEST that are involved in the preparations. Therefore during the event, considerable amount of people are taking part in the organisation of activities that are offered to finalists. These groups are as follows:

1. EBEC Working Teams: There are more than 60 local and international members of BEST, who dedicate their full time to provide a top quality organisation to the finalists that participate in the competition. Ranging from logistics to media relations, every single activity is planned and managed in detail so that finalists can enjoy the unique experience of EBEC Final event. 2. Jury Fairness and transparency are the key to any contest; therefore, we always invite external professors, experts and company representatives who possess deep knowledge about the given competition task in order to assess the solution of finalists in best possible way. 3. Companies We believe the engineering studies must not be placed far from the industry and latest technological trends. Therefore having companies present in the event ensures the tasks are oriented to the current problems that the world faces nowadays and the enthusiastic minds of Europe meet their future corporations as early as possible. Competitions Booklet


4. Supporters The project itself is conducted for students, by students. As mentioned earlier, BEST is a non-profit, non-political organisation; therefore, we always seek support from the institutions that are willing to recognise our efforts, share our vision to create an impact on Europe and its citizens.

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In return, we promote their means of support in our media channels and ask the representatives kindly to honour us with their presence or a speech on Official Opening or Official Closing Day of EBEC Final event.

We always seek support from institutions that are willing to share our vision to create an impact on Europe and its citiziens.


We always strive to improve ourselves and our services that we provide to students; therefore, the idea of European BEST Engineering Competition (EBEC) is being developed constantly and is compliant to the mission and values of BEST. In near future, we believe the competition will be recognised publicly as one of the most distinguished experiences one can attain during his studies in Europe. Board of European Students of Techology

can attain during his studies in Europe.


Competitions Booklet

Case Study Case Study is one of the two engineering competition categories that take place in all rounds of EBEC. Case Study tasks consist of analysing and solving a problem with no actual construction of any device, but just by using the information given to develop and present hypothetical solutions. They are created by a group of BEST members (usually called Topic Group), sometimes in cooperation with companies or university professors. In this case, the Topic Group is in charge of assisting the company or university representatives in whatever they might need (e.g. brainstorming, feedback…) in order to successfully develop a suitable task for EBEC. Many well-known companies, such as Siemens in EBEC Final 2011 or Deutsche Bahn in EBEC Final 2012, have been glad to take part in the project.


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By doing so, participants improve not only their teamwork skills (e.g. project management and decision making) but also many others such as persuasion and presentation skills, which will be of great use for them in real life, both for career and academic related purposes. Case Study tasks intend to be original and motivating for participants and can be inspired by a wide range of engineering fields. However, keeping in mind that they have to be solved (and solvable!) by teams of 4 students with different academic backgrounds and limited time and resources, it is always kept in consideration to avoid tasks that require advanced knowledge on a certain field. Moreover, broader topics tend to leave more room for creativity, and therefore many different and unexpected approaches can be found. Some recent tasks have simulated an emergency or an unexpected crisis in a particular company or location. Remarkable examples might be ‘Earthquake in Japan’, in which participants were asked to design an emergency plan for such a natural disaster, or ‘Child labor in the industry’, where they had to deal with a scandal originated when a supplier of their company is reported to be using child labor.

Other tasks have been based on real life situations, like ‘Olympic Games Stadium’ and ‘Airport: taking it to the next level’, in which participants were asked to adapt Kuwait’s stadium and airport respectively for their fictional upcoming Olympic Games.

during the final presentation by a jury of at least 3 members with knowledge about the field the task is based on -generally university professors -, who will in the end decide who the Case Study winners are.

A case study task can last between 2 and 24 hours -mainly depending on its difficulty leveleven though most of them are developed to be solved in one or two complete working days. Regarding the available resources, participants can only make use of some stationery material and, if allowed by the task developers, Internet and/or computers. Last but not least, it is very important to clearly specify in the handouts how the tasks are going to be evaluated. The most common way to do so is to ask participants to prepare a presentation in which they defend the hypotheses and outcomes they have come up to, in connection with the given information and the questions they have been asked. Participants are aware well in advance of the evaluation criteria (for instance, creativity and real implementation are usually taken into consideration). Such criteria are usuallyated

Competitions Booklet


Team Design

The Team Design is one of the two categories of EBEC, where participants are asked to use their engineering skills and explore laws of physics in order to develop a functional prototype that fulfills the given requirements. Besides EBEC, Team Design challenges are also occurring in other BEST events (like BEST Courses or internal motivational events) as an opportunity for challenging technical skills and soft skills while doing effective team building. The variety of topics spans from bridge/tower constructions using paper, wood and bricks to programming robots. In many cases the tasks combine different fields in engineering. These tasks are tackled by participants, who often have complete different backgrounds. Despite of all variances, Team Design has a set of rules and conditions that are common from competition to competition. Usually the tasks are made for teams of 4 students, giving clear restrictions about available materials and tools, available work time and requirements for the outcomes. Speaking of time, a Team Design competition can last between 5 minutes and 3 days. A nice example of a 5-minute Team Design is called


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“Spaghetti challenge”, where teams are asked to build a tower as high as possible with a marshmallow on top, only using several spaghetti and marshmallows. If you add water, eggs, salt, flour, a cooking possibility and a “materials shop” to the challenge above, it can expand to a 2-hour competition. The more complex and difficult a task is, the more time is available to work on it. The average Team Design task in BEST competitions takes around 6 hours, the most complex ones 2 or 3 working days. This would for example be the construction of a remote controlled sailboat that has to pass a specific path while carrying as much cargo as possible. A growing number of competitions use the concept of a 24-hour timeframe. This also challenges the participants to plan the working time efficiently, as the task hand-in is exactly 24 hours after the handout. An example for a task that has been used in this format is the manual construction of a mechanical gramophone.

Competitions Booklet


As mentioned in the beginning, the materials are usually strictly limited. In some cases all teams get the same materials and tools to solve the task. Alternatively there is a materials shop available where participants can spend their credits on additional materials or renting special tools. The concept of the shop adds a strategic component to the competition as the stocks are usually limited and the spent credits influence the final score. Most of the materials in the shop come from home-improvement market and electronics stores. Some parts are moreover recycled from broken objects and simply garbage. This makes it even more astonishing if you look at the outcomes and the final devices, as you could say that the students are transforming garbage in a working device. Normally the task developers try in advance to solve the task by themselves, so they are sure that the task is doable with the given materials, additionally all tasks have restrictions and special requirements that can help to regulate the difficulty of the task. However participants will most of the times successfully manage to baffle the task creators with extremely tricky concepts, or finding loopholes in the rules. This is why


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especially complex tasks need a very careful preparation, and why there are 8 experienced people (EBEC Topic Group) working on the tasks every year, trying to avoid inconsistencies and gaps in the task handouts at least for the final round of EBEC.

The final outcome is rated by measurable parameters specified in advance (e.g. height of spaghetti tower) and by subjective scores (e.g. design of spaghetti tower) rated by a jury, with preferable at least 3 members, that are experts in the field of the topic. The rating and scoring happens during the final presentation and the final testing, that marks the highlight of a Team Design competition.

Competitions Booklet


Testimonials EBEC Final İstanbul I think it is one of the most important events in the engineering world for the companies which want to invest in the student's career. Ruxandra Benga Infineon Technologies

You can find very innovative ideas, you can really see in real life how your people think, how they are trying to improve the social arena and how they are mixing together, networking together and getting to know each other better. Ruxandra Benga Infineon Technologies

In EBEC They can improve presentation skills, but also skills of working together in teams and how to structure a presentation. I think that this is very important and they have a good chance in events like this to practice that. Steffen Wuth Siemens AG

We found very interesting candidates for internship which we invited and they had a better chance to look and to get a deep inside of our company's environment. We will reach interesting candidates who really want to develop a long term career in the semiconductor field. Ruxandra Benga Infineon Technologies


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We met a lot of interesting candidates from a lot of countries which otherwise would be very difficult to meet and it was very interesting to meet students from all over Europe. It is very interesting to have them together at a certain time and a certain place to meet them once they are preselected in their national rounds. Steffen Wuth Siemens AG

EBEC Final Warsaw The European BEST Engineering Competition was a great opportunity for IVECO and CNH to present our company for engineerstobe. At IVECO, we perceive EBEC as a platform where knowledge can be confronted against the realworld problems. As the employer, we send a message to the students what sort of skills we need. IVECO representative

Such type of contests are unique for expressing needs and expectations of both future employers and employees. Because of case studies form of the competition, we receive priceless feedback from them and fresh look. It is highly challenging for both sides but also, incredibly productive and rewarding. We learn from each other and benefit from it.

IVECO representative

In Deutsche Bahn, we enjoy that EBEC brings together such a high quality of wellqualified students. A meeting point of tomorrow’s high potentials. It is an added value for the students to take part in EBEC. It helps to think out of the box and to stay openminded.

Deutsche Bahn representative

EBEC is a well equipped event, well prepared and organised. The organising team gives a dynamic, young and good impression. The atmosphere is very openminded, welcoming and cooperative.

Deutsche Bahn representative

EBEC is a very good concept to compare different qualities of various young students, although few countries are missing. In the future we would like to support this continuous effort to have participants of all parts of Europe in this engineering competition.

Deutsche Bahn representative

Competitions Booklet


Support & Recognition Throughout the years EBEC has benefited from the support of several entities which have played a great role in ensuring the success of the project. The first 3 editions of EBEC final benefited from the support of UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) which had the main focus on the Team Design topic. Moreover, the EBEC Final 2012 which took place in Zagreb was awarded the patronage of UNESCO due to its contribution to advancing technical engineering capacities and partnerships in Europe, providing opportunities for academic and personal development, and supporting intercultural understanding. Starting from EBEC Final 2012 in Zagreb, EBEC Final has been awarded with the partonage of Unesco for editions of 2012, 2013, 2014. Other supporters: Youth in Action, IEEE Foundation, FEANI, SEFI, Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Warsaw University of Technology, Faculty of Mathematics and


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Information Science, Universitat PolitĂŠcnica de Valencia. Companies and Higher Education Institutions play an essential role in the competition as they can be not only supporters of the event but also the ones that propose the topics. By this, the students receive the opportunity to develop a solution to a problem closer to reality and get a better insight in their professional field. In the last four years, EBEC final has been highly mediatized as we had: 21 TV appearances 10 radio 29 newspapers 6 technical magazines 316 appearances on 176 websites

Competitions Booklet



Board of European Students of Techology

Competitions Booklet


Endnote Since BEST has been conducting engineering competitions, we came a long way - from will to offer new service alongside to our main service - seasonal courses, to well structured EBEC Project, that still takes into account unique aspects of each university and the people who actually organise it. EBEC Project is unique among other engineering competitions not only in its 3-level-structure and large number of events, but also because of the way it fulfills the mission of BEST - it develops students. Starting from Local Rounds of EBEC all over Europe, students are challenged and asked to demonstrate their engineering skills in solving up-to-date problems of industry, thus benefiting not only to their own personal development, but also providing innovative solutions to cater for our partners’ needs. And what is worth to note - this competition spirit is maintained through all rounds of the EBEC Project. However, EBEC develops not only the students who participate in its rounds, it serves as a great learning base for all BEST members - those who ensure development of the Project and the ones responsible for organisation of actual competition events. In the last 5 years that EBEC has been running, it has developed significantly, however there are still plenty of areas to grow even more - maintaining flexibility in Local Rounds and ensuring consistency in National/Regional Rounds, developing EBEC Project regulations and communicating with our partners. Nevertheless, people involved in competitions in BEST and all levels of the EBEC Project are very passionate about what they do, and this passion will ensure continued development for the upcoming years. Design the future. Today.


Board of European Students of Techology

Competitions Booklet



Board of European Students of Techology


BEST Anniversaries Project Coordinator: Ana Rita Gonรงalves, Porto Authors: Alwin Reichhart, Graz Blanca Reyes, Barcelona Cagri Basaran, Istanbul Jonathan Ramirez, Delft Maciej Nowak, Warsaw Rafal Oldziejewski, Warsaw Thomas Uyttendaele, Leuven Designer: Oya Merve Duman, Ankara

Competitions Booklet


President Mihai Tociu

e-mail: phone: +40 74 566 8097

Ambassador Mathieu Vandenberghe e-mail: phone: +32 498 69 53 74

BEST Competitions  
BEST Competitions