Birmingham City University has launched a competition with Meridian, the world’s largest producer of magnesium components, encouraging students to showcase potential uses of the material within the aerospace sector.

According to Meridian, magnesium is the lightest of all structural materials, the eighth most abundant chemical element in the earth’s crust and is 100% recyclable. The company has created the competition to alter the aviation’s industry’s historical preference for less sustainable and heavier metals.

Individuals and teams from across Birmingham City University’s four faculties have two months to submit their ideas, which will be showcased to experts at the University, Meridian and the International Magnesium Association (MIA) in an interdisciplinary art installation. If the winning prototype inspires further investment, it is hoped a full-scale version will be crafted from magnesium and exhibited in a partner venue.

The competition is being run in conjunction with the University’s Graduate+ Week. Graduate+ is an undergraduate scheme that looks to identify and develop students’ experience and build on their skills to enhance their employment options.

Birmingham City University and Meridian agreed a strategic partnership last year which has seen the two organisations work together in the education, research and development of magnesium use.