Engineering Design Show promotes talent, vision and skill

2 November 2022

Jonathan Pearse aligning his autonomous harvester to collect and deliver some apples during the Engineering Design Show demonstrations

The annual Engineering Design Show at the University of Waikato wrapped up last week with engineering students from all four BE(Hons) years displaying, explaining, and demonstrating their work.

The event brings together all the university’s engineering years and disciplines, including civil, mechanical, mechatronics, chemical, environmental, electrical, materials and software engineers.

Students had to construct a bridge for a set budget that would hold the weight of three team members when tested. All passed with flying colours!

School of Engineering Senior Lecturer Dr Tim Walmsley says the practical talent, creativity and problem-solving on display and demonstrated through the various activities is testament to the curiosity of the students and the dedication of the staff.

“Across the board, the students showcased not just their superb projects but also their incredible resilience to the many challenges of this year,” Tim says. “Bettering people and the environment is a key purpose of engineering, and the final year students reiterated this purpose through both their projects and their excitement for what they had achieved.”

Taine Whare built and demonstrated a prototype plasterboard unloading machine to support the building industry.

The Engineering Design Show started with the First Year boat competition on Day One, experienced the highs and lows of the Third Year mechanical apple harvester on Day Two, and was capped off by Industry Night with more than 100 industry and external representatives in attendance speaking to students, learning more about their work and networking.

“During Industry Night, we presented our premier awards for the best displays,” Tim says.

“Fiolo Kaloni won first place – sponsored by Oji Fibre Solutions – for his project focused on improving rechargeable battery cycle efficiency. Taine Whare was a very  close runner-up – sponsored by The Roofing Store. He built and demonstrated a prototype plasterboard unloading machine to support the building industry.”

Tim says he’s proud of the difference that Waikato offers its Engineering students.

“Practical, collaborative and innovative are key areas that set Waikato engineering graduates apart from the crowd, and the Engineering Design Show demonstrated just why this is the case.”

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