Pi Wars 2018 – Important information for visitors

Welcome to the Important Information page for Pi Wars 2018.

On here, you’ll find information about getting to the venue and what will be happening during the event.


This timetable applies to both days this year. We hope to welcome over 70 teams across the weekend.

9.15am – Main doors open for competitors, exhibitors, judges and marshals. Competitor registration begins.
10.15am – Main doors open for spectators.
10.30am – Competition challenge runs start.
5pm (approx) – Most challenges finish. Only Pi Noon left to complete!
5.30pm (approx) – Pi Noon finishes. Prizegiving ceremony in the Lecture Theatre (following the “customary delay” for us to finish off the scoring).
6.30pm (approx) – Prizegiving ceremony finishes. Home time!

Getting there & parking

The venue is located in West Cambridge, in close proximity to the Madingley Road Park & Ride. If you drive up Madingley Road with the P&R on the left, you will to decide which road on the right you should take:

  • DISABLED PARKING and DROP OFF of equipment/supplies – the turning on the right you want is sign-posted to the Cavendish Laboratory/West Cambridge Site. The William Gates Building (University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory), where the event is held, is a little way up on the left and is the imposing building with the small car park in the front. If you are dropping off, you will then need to move your car to the regular parking facility.
  • REGULAR PARKING – keep going to the next turning on the right (Clerk Maxwell Road).

The Regular Parking for the event is on Clerk Maxwell Road off Madingley Road (A1303) in the University’s Park and Cycle facility. There will be signs up for this car park. There will also be signs up to direct you from that car park to the event, which is just two minutes walk away.

Please note: the route from the Park and Cycle car park is different to last year due to some building work that is taking place.


If you are a spectator, please bring your tickets with you and present them at the front desk for entry. Additional tickets can be obtained on the day. Under-18s go free. Adults are £5 per day or £7 for the whole weekend.

If you are a volunteer judge or marshal, please register at the front desk on arrival. You will be issued with a lanyard and any equipment you need.

If you are a competitor, your entry fee to the competition covers all members of your team. Please register at the front desk when you arrive and we’ll give you competitor stickers and… well, we’ll leave that as a surprise!

If you are an exhibitor, please drop by the front desk on arrival and we will let you know where you will be situated.


We will have a printed programme available which lists the teams & the challenges, has a map of the venue and contains information about our sponsors. Please make sure that you pick up a copy on your way in.

The Challenge Courses

The courses are all on the ground floor and are accessible to wheelchair users. Please do not go inside the outer barriers unless you are a competitorOnly judges are permitted on the challenge courses – this is to ensure ‘fair play’ and to minimise marking the paint.

Competitor Workrooms (The Pits)

These are for Competitors only and are on the upper floors of the building. There will be signs to guide you. You will be assigned a Workroom when you arrive which should provide you with a table to work on, should you need to. There will be power available in the room, but please feel free to bring an extension cable or other equipment that you need. Please remember: If you are charging batteries, please make sure you supply a battery safety pouch/bag to charge them in. If you don’t know what I mean, please get in touch.

Artistic Merit/Technical Merit/Special Prize Judging

Judging for these takes place in the Quiet Area on the first floor (above the lecture theatres) from 12.30-2.30pm on both days. If you are a competitor, please ensure that you schedule time to be judged on these as you can pick up lots of points. You will need to fit this in around your other challenges, but we’ve tried to make sure this isn’t impossible!

Marketplace & Show and Tell

We are incredibly pleased to be able to offer an extensive marketplace and show and tell area, featuring many of our sponsors and other exhibitors. This is a great opportunity to skip the postal fees and buy bits for your projects and to see what people have to offer. There are some interactive exhibits to spend some time on.


There is a good cafe on-site where you can get hot and cold food for lunch. However, feel free to bring your own. There is a nice seating area inside the venue that can be used for eating/drinking. Please be aware that the venue is rather remote and that there are no other eating places nearby. We expect the cafe and seating area to be busy.


These are located at the far end of the venue, opposite the cafe.

The Prizegiving

Everyone is welcome to the prizegiving ceremony in the Lecture Theatre. It normally lasts about an hour.


As always, if you have any questions at all, please get in contact with us.