29 Jun 2018

University of Hamburg Team win PEMA Student Challenge for Second Year Running

June 29, 2018 – The Port Equipment Manufacturers Association (PEMA) hosts the PEMA Student Challenge 2018 at TOC Europe in Rotterdam.



As part of its educational outreach, PEMA hosted the 6th PEMA Student Challenge with the final taking place on the 14thJune, the last day of TOC Europe in Rotterdam. Compered by PEMA Board Member, Jon Sojo, the live final saw teams from three university teams take to the stage to compete for the Student Challenge title.

The 2018 finalist universities had all reached the competition finals in previous years. Hamburg University of Technology, University of Hamburg and Blekinge Institute of Technology each had 25 minutes to present their answer to the Student Challenge question, which this year centred on the theme of reducing the environmental impact at ports whilst improving productivity. The topic follows a number of high profile international initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions in the maritime sector and this years’ competitors were tasked with drawing on existing technologies such as shore power and green energy to propose a sustainable, yet economically competitive solution.



Board Member and Question Master, Jon Sojo said: ‘The Student Challenge focuses on a new issue each year and is always topical. For some years now, the issue of the environmental impact of ports has dominated the ports sector – presenting new challenges to terminals and the entities that operate within them. Without a doubt, environmental impact will be a driving factor in the construction of new terminals and this years’ question will challenge students to look ahead to consider how this issue will shape the landscape of the industry.’

The judging panel comprised journalists and industry experts from across the ports and terminals sectors. After intense cross examination of the three proposals, the judges scored each on three criteria: Innovation potential, Practicability, Academic value.

The BTH team focused on investing in eRTGS and a move to terminal automation as well as replacing diesel with LNG in the terminal to reduce CO2. The Hamburg University of Technology team focused on complete electrification of the terminal through retro fitting and utilising wind power to reduce emissions to zero. However, it was the University of Hamburg’s smart grid solution which convinced the judges and snared them the €1,000 prize.

Of the final, Fae Brennan, PEMA Communications and Events Committee Chair said:

‘PEMA is proud to once again, host the PEMA Student Challenge. The only competition of its kind in the ports sector, the programme provides a unique opportunity for young people to experience the TOC Europe whilst gaining exposure to the real business of the ports and terminal world. The Student Challenge, is a catalyst for developing talent, helping to bringing up the next generation of industry leaders and we are determined to continue to make a success of it. Congratulations to the University of Hamburg on defending their title of Student Challenge champions!’

PEMA would like to thank all the teams that participated in this years’ competition and extends a special thanks to our Student Challenge Judges, Lorene Grandidier, Vincent Champion, Rebecca Jeffrey, Lamia Kerdjoudj-Belkaid, James Khan and Ivan Deosdad, who dedicated their time to support the initiative.

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 participate. If you are currently studying for a post or undergraduate degree and are interested in participating in the PEMA Student Challenge 2019, contact PEMA Head of Administration, Fae Brennan:

Mob: +44 7766 228 958
Tel: +44 2034 093 100