Workforce-ready skills on display at engineering showcase

ANU Engineering students Jordan Smith and Veekshith Kurapati
Monday 22 October 2018

From planet tracking and water filters, to vein vision and asparagus harvesting, the engineering student showcase highlighted the diversity of capstone and individual research projects undertaken at ANU during 2018.

The showcase was an opportunity for 160 students to share their innovative solution to address a client need, research problem, societal issue or technological challenge.

Dr Chris Browne from the ANU Research School of Electrical, Energy and Materials Engineering said that these real-world projects are crucial in developing successful and professional engineers.

“The students don’t get everything right the first time and this is key to learning what it’s like in the real world. We give students authentic feedback along the way, they run with their ideas and respond really positively,” Dr Browne said.

Inspiration for student projects comes from a range of sources. Many are developed in response to problems pitched directly to students by local industry, while others are built upon ideas supplied by University research teams. Some students use the opportunity to work on a concept or start-up of their own design.

Space Shark, a device that teaches children and adults about engineering and astronomy, is an example of the role that engineers can play in bringing a great idea to life in a capstone project.

The device encourages curious minds to explore astronomy using a mounted ‘shark’ that tracks planets in real-time. The device is now available online where it can be downloaded for 3D printing.

Project sponsor, Dr James Gilbert from the ANU Research School of Astronomy said he was thrilled at how far the team progressed the project.

“They have been exemplary, have shown initiative and they’ve run with their ideas. They have behaved like a mini engineering company, and if a professional had done the work, I’d be really happy with the outcome.”

Final year engineering student Jordan Smith said that the project has given him great insight into how he can use his skills and knowledge to achieve impact.

“I enjoyed working on a project to inspire kids and adults alike, and personally this project has been the best group experience – a great way to end my final year at ANU.”

DFAT New Colombo Plan scholar Stephanie Kochinos is completing her individual research project by working to improve the quality of clay water filters designed by Canberra based NGO, Abundant Water. This work aligns with the Humanitarian Engineering at ANU program.

“It was great working with Abundant Water to determine the requirements and the methodologies to ensure they would be satisfied with the result. I was able to get real-world experience of what it is like working with a client and meeting their needs.”

The showcase is held for final year Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) and Master of Engineering students in October each year.

Click here to learn more about the program and Engineering at ANU.



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