Winner of the 5th annual Kia Innovation Award

Kia Motors Slovakia (Kia) organized Kia Innovation Award contest exclusively for the university students from all over Slovakia. The aim of ambitious students was to draw up a project on the following topics: innovation in construction of wheeled vehicles and their energy sources, modernization of production technologies and procedures in the automotive industry with focus on ecology, material and manufacturing engineering, customer care, and after-sale services. Students of four universities with the total of 10 projects were in it for a financial grant and tablets. The judging panel and experts from Kia Motors Slovakia were mostly impressed by a project regarding the mini off-road tracked vehicle with electric drive. The project authors are Daniel Siekela and Dominik Malec of the Alexander Dubcek University of Trencin.

“Kia Innovation Award had been available only for the Zilina and Trencin secondary students for four years. This year, however, we threw an imaginery glove to the university students. And they were not put to shame. Kia Innovation Award is not only a contest, but a way of connecting theoretical knowledge with practical experience. We sincerely congratulate this year ’s winners. Their projects convinced us that organization of such contest has a deep meaning and we will stay the course,” said Branislav Hadar, Head of Education and Training at Kia Motors Slovakia.

The winners of the contest were enthusiasts from the Alexander Dubcek University of Trencin, Daniel Siekela and Dominik Malec, who introduced a project of a tracked off-road driven by electric power. The students went for an unconventional approach aiming to sustain the aesthetic value. After construction, the vehicle will be useful for small house tasks, and in variaton for army, searches, and rescue teams.

“Our project was well in progress and one of the themes in the contest was innovations in construction of wheeled vehicles and their energy resources. Our project fit right in. We needed funds for its realization and being able to enter the contest was very welcome. Our next goal is the construction of the vehicle and its use in real life,“ explained Daniel Siekela and Dominik Malec, authors of the winning project.

The students of the Catholic University Ruzomberok, Jakub Rozek and Lukas Subjak, came second with their questionnaire KANO that identifies the needs of customers. The students used a benchmarking method. The main asset of the project was a detailed analysis of Kia ’s direct competitors on the Slovak market.

Jan Scury from the Zilina University came in third by dealing with usage of recycled aluminium alloy for production of cylinder heads. By carrying out his project, many benefits in innovation of metallurgical processes using recycled alloys for heavy castings, production cost reduction, and substantial benefits in the environmental field will be achieved.