Bram Sanders, Chris Ramsey, Lucien Fesselet and Will Simmonds have won the 2016 Wij Inholland Award with their student project Drones in the Greenhouse (Drones in de Kas). The Aeronautical Engineering students (the English-language variant of the Luchtvaarttechnologie degree programme) claimed the highly coveted cup and were presented with a cheque for 2,000 euros. Executive Board member Marcel Nollen presented the prizes during the official opening ceremony of the academic year at Inholland Diemen on 1 September.
‘They did a fantastic job,’ Nollen said of the Drones in the Greenhouse team, which won the prize for best student project. ‘It’s particularly interesting that Lucien, who participated in the competition last year but didn’t win, took part again this year. It’s quite an achievement that he, together with his team mates and a different drone this time, was able to come back and win first place.’
Drones in the Greenhouse
The Delft students developed a drone that checks plants in greenhouses for diseases. ‘Our drone is only equipped with a single camera, but it can inspect the entire greenhouse in a very short space of time,’ says student Lucien. Together with his team mates Bram, Chris and Will, Lucien thought up the idea for the drone after noticing the difficulty growers had inspecting the health of their many thousands of plants. Between 5 and 25 per cent of all plant stock is currently lost to diseases, bacteria, fungi, damage and other causes.
Major plans for the future
‘We are delighted that we will now have the opportunity to take our project further. Obviously a drone involves some serious monetary investment. I hope this inspires our team to carry on,’ said project member Will. Indeed, he has major plans for the future and wants to work with the other members of his team on similar kinds of technical projects. According to Lucien, the key role Inholland played in developing the drone is one of the things that has forged a tighter bond between the team members. ‘Inholland not only offered us financial assistance, but put us in touch with growers at the start of our project.’
The student projects Empowerment of pregnant women and TEDxBinnenhof were only just beaten to the top spot, with the Midwifery students of the Empowerment of pregnant women project coming second with their research plan that empowers women during pregnancy. Third place was for the Media and Entertainment Management and International Business Innovation Studies students of the TEDxBinnenhof project, in which students and lecturers speak on camera about their passions as part of the promotion of the eponymous event held in March of this year.
During the presentation, Nollen praised the two projects for the creativity of their promotional videos; both these projects received a cheque for 500 euros.