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University of Hamburg wins 5th PEMA Student Challenge 2017

6 July 2017– Students from University of Hamburg were chosen as the winners of the 5th PEMA Student Challenge, held by the Port Equipment Manufacturers Association on 29 June at TOC Europe 2017 in Amsterdam.


As part of its educational outreach, PEMA hosted the 5th PEMA Student Challenge with the final taking place on the 29th June, the last day of TOC Europe in Amsterdam. PEMA Vice President, Maurizio Bragagni compered the event, providing a lively finale to TOC Europe 2017.

Now in its 5th year, the Student Challenge aims to provide a fun and lively way to expose students to the real business of the ports and terminal world, and to bring university programmes and student talent to the attention of the ports business community.

The three finalist teams for 2017, Hamburg University of Technology, University of Hamburg and Blekinge Institute of Technology each had 25 minutes (including a time for Q&A) to present their answer to the Student Challenge question.

This year, the PEMA Special Events and Educational Programmes Committee posed the question, ‘Identify and define what are today’s main areas for port digitalisation and which solutions and trends are now leading the market and why’.

Under the broad, theme of ‘Digitalisation’, a hot topic of the port and terminal industry, students were encouraged to think outside of the box, something which was reflected in the originality and diversity of the Teams’ solutions.

A panel of four guest judges, considered the presentations on the following 5 criteria:

  1. Understanding of the issues
  2. Robustness of approaches suggested
  3. Cleverness of approaches suggested
  4. Originality
  5. Practicality

After conferring on the spot, the panel awarded the €1,000 prize to the University of Hamburg who made the statement:

“Participating in the PEMA Student Challenge 2017 has been a pleasure for us. Although, it was a challenging task to come up with an innovative solution for the given business case within the short time period, it was a very exciting experience and in the end all efforts were rewarded.”

As a surprise on the 5th anniversary of the Student Challenge, Maurizio Bragagni, announced that this year’s winning Team would be invited to attend one of PEMA’s annual Members Meetings to present their solution to PEMA Members and invited guests.

Jon Sojo, Chair of the PEMA Special Events and Educational Programmes Committee, said, “Congratulations to the University of Hamburg for winning this year’s competition and thank you to all participating teams and their professors for their time and efforts. I would like to extend special thanks to our four Student Challenge Judges: Oscar Pernia of Navis, Jan Cuppens of DP World, Vincent Champion of World Cargo News and Yvo Saanen of TBA for their time and contribution to the Student Challenge 2017.

Celebrating its 5th year, the PEMA Student Challenge has become a tradition and we have made a strong commitment to continue working with universities across the globe to make a success out of it. Providing a unique opportunity for young people, to experience the TOC Europe and connect with industry leaders, the Student Challenge is helping to bring up emerging talent and we hope it will continue to grow.”








About PEMA Student Challenge

The PEMA Student Challenge aims to provide a fun and lively way to expose students to the real business of the ports and terminal world, and to bring university programmes and student talent to the attention of the ports business community.

Students from universities across the globe are invited to answer the Student Challenge question by submitting a preliminary abstract. The top three teams are invited to present their full solution at the live final, traditionally held at TOC Europe.

The PEMA Student Challenge Question 2018 will be announced at the upcoming Autumn Members Meeting in Tampere, with registration opening shortly afterwards.

If you are currently studying for a post or undergraduate degree and are interested in participating in the PEMA Student Challenge 2018. Contact PEMA Head of Administration, Fae Brennan for more info. +44 776622 8958