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Polytech Mons Students’ Remarkable Breakthrough in the Drillbotics Competition

Published on 10 July 2023
Written by Pierre Dehombreux
Great news!

Drillbotics ( is SPE international student competition in autonomous drilling: team must design, build and program a fully autonomous lab-scale drilling rig, to guide the drilling bit according to an imposed trajectory,  which is far from being a trivial problem. The field of drilling is multidisciplinary and requires many technological challenges to be met a.o. the characterization of the geomaterials, the manufacturing of drill bits, the design of mechatronic devices, the acquisition and exploitation of data collected during the drilling process. If industrial applications of drilling directly evoke the oil and gas, they are expected to expand given the growing interest in geothermal energy and underground storage of fluids.


On Thursday 6 July, the UMONS Faculty of Enginering hosted a local final of the Drillbotics competition for engineering students. Our 1st-year master’s student in mechanical engineering were able to demonstrate the reliability of the equipment they designed, built and developed during this academic year.

The UMONS test bench deserved the congratulations of the jury, impressed by the performance obtained at the end of this first participation. Although less sophisticated than the drilling rig of the German team TU Clausthal, which is in its 7th participation, the Mons machine design has not gone unnoticed. Congratulations to our skilled students: Martin Delcorte, Rémi Destrebecq, Kylian Dhaenens, Anthony Schietecatte.

This success would not have been achieved without the help of alumni of Polytech Mons. Sébastian Desmette, Research and Development Director of Diamant Drilling Services, a company based in Gosselies, was not only at the origin of our participation in this international competition but provided us with the tailor-made drilling bit. Jean-Luc Schwatgen, engineer at Hyosung Luxembourg, provided many control and command modules and worked tirelessly to educate our students in PLC programming. Pierre Dupont facilitated the identification and delivery of the linear transmission units. Such collaboration bears witness to the collaborative spirit that marks our community of Polytech Mons alumni, for cutting-edge technological projects, carried out in a friendly and knowledge-sharing spirit.

If you would like to support this wonderful project during the 2023-2024 academic year, you are welcome! Make yourself known to the Mining engineering lab and Machine Design and Production Engineering lab.