5 November 2014

PhD Students from BMW Munich visit Brookes

On 17 and 18 September, 19 PhD students from BMW Headquarters in Munich visited Oxford. As part of their trip, the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Mathematical Sciences invited them to Brookes to engage in a project-based task, ‘Transport challenges for Oxford’.

The task was set and supervised by Professors of Mechanical Engineering Denise Morrey and Allan Hutchinson from Oxford Brookes University, and Professor Malcolm McCulloch from Oxford University. The task was based on the ‘feasibility report’ of a Technology Strategy Board project funded to examine the impact of the closure of the Westgate Car Park on transport within the Oxford ring road. Llewelyn Morgan, Transport Research and Economics Manager at Oxfordshire County Council, and Christian Brand, Senior Research Fellow at the Transport Studies Unit, Oxford University, assisted at the workshop as facilitators. Professor Morrey said of the visit "The BMW students engaged with the project and task very enthusiastically and brought additional insights to Oxford's transport problems from the city of Munich. It was a very worthwhile activity which all the students seemed to enjoy."

The students worked in groups of three to propose solutions and pilot business plans. The winning solution chosen by the panel was a Rickshaw pilot, which aligns with Oxford Brookes’ commitment to fostering a culture of sustainable travel. Anika Stephan, one of the BMW students, explained “the intense workshop gave us the opportunity to experience the mobility challenges of Oxford and develop concrete solutions. We are curious about the realisation of our ideas – especially the proposed rickshaw service!”

While in Oxford, the students also visited the BMW Mini Plant Oxford at Cowley.