Engineers making their mark on regional communities

4 JUNE 2021

Engineers making their mark on regional communities

There is plenty happening for the University's engineering students, with EngFest and the Engineers Without Borders Challenge to test their knowledge.

  • Annual EngFest celebration of engineering at Charles Sturt features student project presentations and guest speakers
  • The first engineering graduate is set to complete the course after five-and-a half years of study and will present his final research thesis at EngFest
  • The EWB 2021 Challenge presents a new design brief for first-year students to problem-solve projects based in First Nations communities in northern Australia

The Charles Sturt University Engineering program in Bathurst has plenty to celebrate, with students and cadets engaged with the 2021 EngFest, the annual Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge and the first graduate completing the course next week with their final thesis presentation.

EngFest 2021 (Tuesday 8 and Wednesday 9 June) will see first-year student engineers in the Charles Sturt University Engineering program exhibiting their design entries for the annual Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge. Members of the public can come and participate in the exhibition and view presentations.

EngFest will also feature a public lecture by Ms Jane MacMaster, Chief Engineer of Engineers Australia, at 6pm on Tuesday 8 June.

“The Charles Sturt University Engineering program has long focussed on teaching our students about sustainable and human-focussed engineering practices in civil engineering,” said Charles Sturt Engineer-in-Residence Ms Shara Cameron.

“This is personified through our first-year engineering challenge subject working on the annual Engineers Without Borders Challenge.”

Ms Cameron explained that each year the EWB Challenge partners with a grassroots community development organisation to co-design a real-life challenge identified by the community. First-year engineering students from Australia and New-Zealand are presented with a design brief to problem-solve through the human-centred design process.

“This year the project is based in First Nations communities in the north of Australia again, as it was last year, due to COVID-19 restrictions on travel,” she said.

“Teams of student engineers worked on design projects for EWB’s community partner, The Centre for Appropriate Technology, representing First Nations communities in the Cape York Peninsula region.”

Each brief for the annual Challenge is meticulously researched on location, with extensive documentation, interviews and multi-media assets provided to students to ensure a rich, deep insight into the life and challenges of that community.

“All projects are designed with the needs of the community front-of-mind,” Ms Cameron said.

The EWB first-year project teams – the Wombats, Red Arrow, and Mangrove Monitors – have all engineered solutions that are compact, portable and can be deployed in remote areas of Australia:

  • Wombats have created a ‘rapid deployment birthing tent’, to provide maternity services on Country where there may be none.
  • Red Arrow have designed a ‘solar trailer’ to provide mobile remote power.
  • Mangrove Monitors have designed a ‘raised swag shelter’ to provide safety and comfort on a portable elevated platform.

The first graduate from the combined Bachelor of Technology (Civil Systems)/Master of Engineering (Civil Systems) course is Mr Kevin Win, who was born in Yangon, Myanmar and moved to Orange in 2012.

He said the Charles Sturt Engineering model of learning and teaching is built differently to a traditional course, with a mixture of technical components as well as the four-year work placement.

“This was ideal for employment after graduation and proved to be true as I have secured a full-time position as a structural engineer in a consultancy firm in Dubbo, starting late July,” Mr Win said.

For his master’s research, Mr Win conducted a scoping review of different fatigue prevention methods and suggested a preferred option for the fatigue cracks in the bascule span at Swansea Southbound Bridge.

Mr Win said that having lived in Orange for four-and-a-half years, he fell in love with the region and hopes to stay.

“My career ambition is to focus on improving the infrastructure and lives of the communities in regional Australia and more specifically regional NSW,” he said.

“I believe that I am well placed in having the opportunity to achieve my goal throughout my working career with the skill sets that I have gained throughout the Charles Sturt University Engineering program.”

Those interested in the undergraduate and postgraduate engineering courses can come to an information session on Wednesday 9 June at 11.30am. Register for all sessions and see the full EngFest program.

Media Note:

For more information, contact Nicole Barlow at Charles Sturt Media on mobile 0429 217 026 or via news@csu.edu.au

Media are invited to attend Engfest on Tuesday 8 June to interview students and academic staff from 10.30am.

Photo caption: The engineering building at Charles Sturt in Bathurst.

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Bathurst Charles Sturt University Engineering