- Annual EngFest celebration of engineering at Charles Sturt featured engineering lab demonstrations and facility tours, and student project presentations
- The Engineers Without Borders (EWB) 2022 Challenge presented a new design brief for first-year students to problem-solve projects based in First Nations communities in northern Australia
- The Charles Sturt Engineering model of learning and teaching has a mix of technical components and a four-year work placement
The Charles Sturt University Engineering program in Bathurst had plenty to celebrate, with cadets engaged with the 2022 EngFest, and the annual Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge.
EngFest 2022 (on Tuesday 7 and Wednesday 8 June) saw first-year student engineers in the Charles Sturt University Engineering program present their design entries for the annual Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge.
Charles Sturt Engineer-in-Residence Ms Shara Cameron said, “The Charles Sturt University Engineering program focusses on teaching our students about human-centred design and sustainable practices in civil engineering.
“This is manifested through our first-year engineering challenge subject working on the annual Engineers Without Borders Challenge, with projects displayed as part of the EngFest Engineering Project Expo which also includes projects by second-year students.”
Ms Cameron said EWB Australia partners with grassroots community development organisations around the world to co-design a real-life challenge that has been identified by the community. Each year, the EWB Challenge presents a new design brief for first-year students to problem-solve.
Each brief for the annual challenge is meticulously scoped 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.
“This year the project is based in First Nations communities in the north of Australia, as it has been in previous years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The 2022 Engineers Without Borders Challenge is set in the Cairns-Port Douglas region in Far North Queensland this year with the community partner Dawul Wuru Indigenous Corporation. Dawul Wuru, meaning three rivers, is an Aboriginal Traditional Owner-owned, -managed and -governed community organisation servicing the North-eastern Queensland area.
“The project briefs support Yirrganydji people to sustain wellbeing, culture and care for their rainforest and coastal land and sea Country for the benefit of current and future generations,” Ms Cameron said.
The EWB first-year project teams have all engineered solutions that support the community’s goals in remote areas of Australia, and they exhibited their final solutions at EngFest:
- A river viewing platform to aid accessible connection to Country for local Yirrganydji people and tourists; Ryan Gulliksen (south-west Sydney), Justin Hunter (Red Head, Newcastle), William McNaughton (Orange), and Finn Ryan (Cowra).
- A community garden system with shade structure and rainwater tank for growing bush tucker and supporting bush regeneration; Grifin Brooks (from Hobart), Ethan Campbell (Shepparton), Mackenzie Hamilton (Junee)
- A portable tidal hydroelectric system to provide power for Dawul Wuru rangers when working on Country; Bryce Laird (Bendigo), Alexander Schmidberger (Northern Sydney), Nathan Stevens (Bathurst), Grace Whitehorn (Newcastle).
- An erosion protection wall from recycled tyres to provide a low-cost means to protect the banks of the region’s rivers; Alex Price (Wagga Wagga), Stephen Ricketts (Port Macquarie), Mark Tyson (Griffith).
Charles Sturt Engineering’s Senior Engineer-in-Residence Mr Peter Thew said three second-year student teams also exhibited projects:
- Design of an updated and renewed safety barrier and access at historic lookout at Mount Victoria, for client Blue Mountains City Council; students Harvey Meline, Yassein Dahshan, Ian Gaiser.
- Design of an elevated platform overlooking a lake at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst, for the University’s Division of Facilities Management; students Jackson White, Tess Tracy, Tash Myer-Cuthbert, and Zac Giger (L to R pictured top).
- Design a bridge and raised boardwalk over wetlands at Putta Bucca Wetlands, for Mid Western Shire Council; students Bryce Dennett, Mark Hernandez, Xavier Vials.
Other features of the 2022 EngFest included an information session about civil engineering for high school students, a civil engineering careers expo, an Engineers Australia presentation and networking event, a Women in Engineering morning tea, and Charles Sturt engineering laboratory demonstrations and facilities tour.