The NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament begins tomorrow, but in England an interscholastic competition of a very different kind has already started. The first round winners, an engineering team who improved energy efficiency at a L’Oreal manufacturing plant, will be moving on to the International Finals in Paris where they’ll face off against 11 other teams from around the world.

“The solution, an organic process which converts heat into electricity and the installation of a heat pipe exchanger, was developed as part of L’Oréal’s Ingenius programme: a global competition which aims to give engineering students experience in the world of manufacturing and commerce.”

It could reduce consumption at the L’Oreal UK Plant by more than 50% according to the report on

This is the first program of its kind and it’s a great way to give exposure and real world experience to future engineers. Utility savings are one reward and utilizing the heat pipe exchanger could assist in proving that these types of systems could work at other sites.