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CSU student engineers create their 2019 Rube Goldberg Machine

Thursday, 7 Mar 2019

* A complex, dynamic, practical exercise for new CSU student engineers

* Annual demonstration of team-building and problem-solving

* Also celebrates the mathematical constant 3.14 on ‘Pi Day’

It’s time again for the dominoes to fall for the launch of the annual Rube Goldberg Machine Day at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Bathurst on Thursday 14 March.

Foundation Professor of Engineering Euan Lindsay (pictured) explained that this is the annual demonstration of the first team-building and problem-solving exercise for new first-year student engineers at CSU Engineering.

“In at the deep end, building a Rube Goldberg Machine sets a complex, dynamic and practical exercise for our new student engineers,” Professor Lindsay said.

“The ‘machine’ features numerous elements or steps that interact and combine as it snakes through the engineering building to complete a single task.

“This year’s machine will need to incorporate a pig (it’s the Chinese ‘Year of the Pig’) and recycled items from previous years’ machines. The final step (ultimate goal) of the machine is for it to open a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)-sponsored report to be read.”

In 2018, the MIT-sponsored report named CSU Engineering as one of the top four emerging engineering schools in the world.

This year the special guest who will push the first domino to set the ‘machine’ in motion is Professor Bill Oakes, the Co-Director of the EPICS Program and a member of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University in the state of Indiana, USA.

Professor Oakes’s presence and involvement is also significant because it was Purdue University that in 1987 initiated in the US the first annual National Rube Goldberg Machine Contest.

Professor Lindsay said Thursday 14 March is also ‘Pi Day’, which celebrates the mathematical constant 3.14 (3/14 in the month/day calendar format).

“We chose this later time of 4pm this year to encourage more school children to come along to experience the buzz of the machine activation and inspire the next generation of engineers to change the world,” Professor Lindsay said.

“Our student engineers will also be selling sausage sandwiches on the day to help raise money for our regional engineering scholarship program.

“Come along and be dazzled by this year’s Rube Goldberg Machine, and support our student engineers and the engineering scholarship program.”

The annual Rube Goldberg Machine Day is at CSU Engineering (building 1305, Village Drive) at CSU in Bathurst, with the machine activated after 4pm on Thursday 14 March.

It’s All about Women in Albury

Thursday, 7 Mar 2019

* CSU in Albury-Wodonga will host satellite event for All About Women festival on Sunday 10 March

* All About Women provides a vital platform for women's voices

Charles Sturt University (CSU) is excited to once again host the All About Women Satellite Event from 1pm to 5.30pm on Sunday 10 March.

“All About Women is one of the Sydney Opera House's flagship festivals which includes talks and discussion about ideas that matter to women and provides a vital platform for women's voices,” said event co-host, Dr Jenni Munday.

“The festival presents inspirational and remarkable guests live from Sydney who challenge out current thinking on gender, justice and equality.”

Topics include: Me too, year 2; Leading while Female; and Feminism in the Arab world.

See full schedule here.

In its seventh year, All About Women returns to the Sydney Opera House, coinciding with International Women's Day on 8 March.

“We know not everyone will get to Sydney so we are holding a live ‘satellite’ event in Albury to coincide with the Sydney show,” Dr Munday said.

The event will be live streamed in the CD Blake Theatre (building 751, room 104) on the Albury-Wodonga campus, off Elizabeth Mitchell Drive, Thurgoona.

To help organise light refreshments during the event, please register here.

For more information, contact

CSU helps older Albury residents get walking in 2019

Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019

* CSU research aims to make Albury city more walkable for residents

* Volunteers aged 65+ years needed to assist research in 2019

* Walking improves health and wellbeing and increases access to social and economic life

People aged over 65 and living in Albury can continue to pound the city’s pavements in coming weeks with research being run by Charles Sturt University (CSU).

Working in collaboration with Albury City Council, CSU researchers Dr Rachel Whitsed and Dr Ana Horta from the CSU Institute for Land, Water and Society are measuring the ‘walkability’ of the city, specifically for older people.

“Extensive research tells us that walking improves health and wellbeing and allows increased access to social and economic life for older people,” said Dr Whitsed, the team’s lead researcher.

“Now we need their help to make Albury city more walkable for them.”

See Cr David Thurling from Albury City describe the Walkability project

The Walkability Project for 2019 will be launched at the Albury Library-Museum at 11am on Wednesday 6 March in time for the cooler temperatures of autumn.

With 30 people already taking part in the project, the researchers are seeking more participants aged over 65 to wear a small global positioning system (GPS) device for two weeks.

“We are using this GPS data to map and measure the walkability of Albury through the eyes, and shoes, of older people,” Dr Horta said.

“The more participants we have, the better and more extensive will be our coverage of the city, and the more information Albury City will have to improve the city’s paths.”

This project might also be of interest to the carers and relatives of people living in Albury who are aged over 65 years. Find more information on the project website.

In addition, any Albury resident can complete a ‘Have a Say’ survey form on walkability in the city, available on the AlburyCity website.

To participate in the project, contact Ms Kris Gibbs on 6051 9992, or email

The project is supported by AlburyCity and the NSW government.

Regional female engineers network to launch

Tuesday, 5 Mar 2019

* Engineering industry lacks gender equality

* CSU Women in Engineering Network to support regional female engineers

* Network is open to all female engineers

Charles Sturt University (CSU) will launch the CSU Women In Engineering Network in Bathurst on Thursday 7 March.

The initiative by the CSU Engineering program aims to support and benefit CSU’s female student engineers and female engineers in regional NSW.

Currently there are no female engineering groups in regional NSW, and in 2017 an Engineers Australia report indicated that just 12 per cent of engineers working in Australia are female.

CSU Engineering program Engineer-in-Residence Mrs Shara Cameron (pictured) said, “Female engineering professionals often face work environments where they are the only female engineer.”

“It’s important for CSU Engineering to lead change in the industry in which our female cadets and graduates will work.”

“We aim to overcome the disparity within the engineering sector and are focussed on building a positive and engaging culture within the school to support its current students and attract more female applicants.”

Mrs Cameron said the network launch is free and exclusively for student, cadet and professional female engineers, and the network is open to all female engineers.”

The guest speaker at the CSU Women in Engineering Network launch is Ms Julie Mikhail, the outgoing President of the Sydney Division of Engineers Australia.

Ms Mikhail will share her views on the valuable contribution that women bring to engineering, an industry historically lacking in gender equality.

The CSU Women in Engineering Network event is from 5pm to 7pm on Thursday 7 March at CSU Engineering (building 1305, Village Drive - pictured) at CSU in Bathurst.

Please contact Ms Lisa Ditchfield via for more information about the network or to attend the event.

To attend the CSU Women In Engineering Network launch please RSVP to

Australian desert adventures beckon

Monday, 4 Mar 2019

* 2019 ‘Songlines and Shared Journeys’ survey program opportunities

* Capable individuals invited to join scientific desert expeditions

* Expeditions are structured and supported to explore desert ecology

A presentation at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga on Wednesday 13 March will examine how people can join scientific expeditions to explore Australia’s deserts.

Ms Sophie Woods (pictured), a fourth-year veterinary science student in the CSU School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences in Wagga Wagga, has organised the Australian Desert Expeditions (ADE) event.

She said the ADE presentation is being hosted by student-run club Wildlife@CSU and will explain how any interested participants can join an expedition and benefit from the experience.

“Expedition leaders will deliver a fascinating and informative presentation about ecology and trekking in the desert,” Ms Woods said.

“They will explain how interested people can explore Australia’s vast desert wilderness on structured and supported scientific surveys using pack camels, where every step reveals an ancient landscape.

“By attending the presentation audience members can talk to the leaders about joining them on a tour and discovering the ecology of the desert.

“Potential expedition participants could include students and scientists interested in desert ecology, and the general public.

“I encourage people to find out how they can join the ‘Songlines and Shared Journeys’ survey program and create their own desert story in 2019.”

The Australian Desert Expeditions presentation will be from 6pm to 8pm on Wednesday 13 March in the Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation (building 229, room 182) at CSU in Wagga Wagga.

Wildlife@CSU is a student-run club at CSU in Wagga Wagga. Its main objectives are to educate and enhance knowledge about wildlife, and to develop practical skills pertaining to wildlife health and management.

“We provide our members with a range of activities including hands-on, immersive workshops,” Ms Woods said.

“We also arrange guest speakers to discuss current conservation work, research and medicine related to a range of terrestrial and marine, native and exotic wildlife.”

Wildlife@CSU also creates opportunities for networking and to support the local community.

“The club holds fundraisers such as bake sales, barbeques and raffles to contribute to local, national and international organisations doing great work,” she said. “This year we will be supporting WIRES Riverina Branch and The Australian Wildlife Conservancy.”

Ms Woods said Wildlife@CSU is open to all CSU students, staff and alumni.

“We aim to keep our members updated on current events, volunteering and research opportunities related to wildlife via our Facebook group and email list,” Ms Woods said.

For more information about the Australian Desert Expeditions presentation or Wildlife@CSU contact Ms Sophie Woods at Wildlife@CSU via or 0437 817 127.

‘Meet the Candidates’ NSW pre-election forum in Port Macquarie

Monday, 4 Mar 2019

* CSU and Chamber of Commerce co-host free public forum

* Candidates from three parties to respond to voters questions

* Opportunity to question candidates about what they can do for their community

Charles Sturt University (CSU) and the Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce will co-host a NSW state election ‘Meet the Candidates’ free public forum on Thursday 14 March.

CSU Acting Vice-Chancellor (Research, Development and Industry) Professor Heather Cavanagh said, “The Student Representative Council at the University in Port Macquarie was considering staging a similar forum in advance of the 2019 NSW state election on Saturday 23 March.

“When we learned that the local Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce was interested in holding a similar forum we agreed to present it together.

“This will be a free ‘question and answer’ event, and is a great opportunity to hear from our local candidates, and for the local community, including students and businesses, to ask any questions prior to the election.

“This community engagement is a practical expression of Charles Sturt University’s values of being insightful, inclusive and impactful, and I encourage as many people as possible to attend.”

The candidates for the NSW Electorate of Port Macquarie are:

* Ms Leslie Williams, MP – The Nationals (Sitting Member)

* Mr Peter Alley – The Country Labor candidate

* Ms Drusi Megget – The Greens candidate

Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce Executive Officer Mr Mark Wilson will be moderator of the ‘question and answer’-style forum.

Mr Wilson said, “One of the roles the Chamber plays is to advocate for the local business community, across all tiers of government.

“We have partnered with Charles Sturt University, another great community supporter, to offer the electorate the opportunity to question all candidates and find out what they can do for their community.

“Although everyone is welcome to attend, we encourage local business owners and students, in particular, to visit the Port Chamber website and register for this event.

“More than ever, now is the time to foster the changes we want to see in our region.”

Register here for this free pre-election event:

The forum will be held at 6pm on Thursday 14 March at CSU in Port Macquarie, room 2048, 7 Major Innes Rd.

CSU supports Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Showcase

Thursday, 28 Feb 2019

* CSU a major sponsor of sustainability showcase on Mid North Coast

* CSU interactive displays examine use of plastic and oceanic plastic pollution

* CSU’s impressive sustainability journey explained

The environmental expertise of Charles Sturt University (CSU) underpins its support as a major sponsor of the Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Showcase on Friday 1 and Saturday 2 March.

This event is organised and hosted by the Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Network whose members include CSU staff and students.

Ms Michelle Wilkinson (pictured left), partnerships coordinator with CSU Green in the CSU Division of Facilities Management, said that as a major sponsor the University has also provided funding for the event through its CSU Green project grants.

“This fun and informative event for the whole community aims to educate, inform and inspire individuals and businesses on the latest ideas, products and trends in sustainability,” Ms Wilkinson said.

“The Charles Sturt University stand at the event is hosted by the Faculty of Science and CSU Green.

“It showcases environmental sciences and features interactive displays about our use of plastic and the impact of plastic pollution on the ocean.

“CSU Green will host a presentation on Friday 1 March about how CSU is weaving sustainability considerations into everything that it does, and it’s an opportunity for people to find out more about how the University is helping its community to live well in a world worth living in.”

Guest speakers at the Sustainability Showcase include Mr Costa Georgiadis from the popular long-running ABC TV gardening show Gardening Australia, and Mr Giles Parkinson from RenewEconomy.

The Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Showcase is at Port Macquarie Racecourse from 12pm to 5pm Friday 1 March, and from 9am to 4pm Saturday 2 March.

The Showcase will focus on the following key sectors of sustainability:

Natural environment, the built environment, goods and services, food and agriculture, transport and infrastructure, stationary energy, waste and recycling, health and well-being, tourism, and ethical investment.

Find out about the latest electric vehicles and solar systems, environmentally-friendly products for your home and your business, local food, and products and services.

Visitors to the event can access more than 50 displays, 30 seminar presentations, 15 workshops, and a full program of kids activities to learn about reducing energy and water use, composting, eco-cleaning, biodiversity off-sets, organic farming, and much more.

Learn more about the Port Macquarie Hastings Sustainability Showcase here:

CSU tops 2018 corporate blood donations in central west

Wednesday, 27 Feb 2019

* CSU blood donations save lives

* CSU topped Red Cross 2018 corporate blood donation challenge in NSW central west

* New blood donors always needed and welcome

Students and staff at Charles Sturt University (CSU) have the opportunity to save lives and improve on last year’s campus tally when the Red Cross Blood Donation Service mobile van comes to the campus from Monday 11 to Wednesday 13 March.

The Red Cross hosts several different categories of blood donor ‘Challenges’ annually, with differing durations.

In 2018 CSU staff and students topped the Red Cross’s 2018 Red25 corporate blood donation challenge in the NSW central west region when they made 225 individual donations which the Red Cross estimates saved 675 lives.

Red25 group organisations include five regional councils (Bathurst, Cabonne, Cowra, Mid-Western, and Lithgow) major enterprises (such as banks and power companies), government departments, businesses, schools, and services providers (eg SES, police).

In addition, in the Top10 Red25 groups for NSW / ACT in 2018 CSU ranked fifth behind NSW Police, the RAAF, the Australian Army, the RAN, and was the top university for blood donations.

Student liaison officer at CSU in Bathurst Mr Scott Hatch said, “This is an outstanding contribution to the community by Charles Sturt University donors.

“The blood donations by our students and staff embody the University’s values of being inclusive and impactful.

“I thank all our donors, and encourage new students and others to consider becoming blood donors.”

New donors can make an appointment at or by calling 131 495.

Mr John Feist, NSW/ACT Community Relations Officer with the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, said, “We say a massive thank you to all the students and staff at Charles Sturt University for their fantastic efforts donating blood in 2018.

“The 225 individual donations at campuses in the central west saved an estimated 675 lives.

“Furthermore, blood donations across the whole University helped to save over 7,200 lives, which is an amazing achievement and everyone involved should be extremely proud.

“The patients and their families that have been helped by those donations will be forever grateful.

“We look forward to your continued efforts in 2019. Let’s see if we can save even more lives together this year!”

Mr Feist noted there is currently an appointment shortfall for the mobile blood donation unit’s visits to Lithgow, Bathurst, and CSU in Bathurst in March (Monday 11 to Wednesday 13), so potential donors are encouraged to contact the Red Cross to make an appointment.

In the 2018 intercampus Challenge CSU in Bathurst came second (425 donations) to CSU in Wagga Wagga’s 1,000 donations.

All CSU staff and student donors are asked to check with Red Cross staff when next they donate to ensure that they are allocated to a specific CSU campus tally - no matter where they make their donation - for the 2019 Intercampus Challenge which runs from 1 March to 1 July.

CSU students and staff made a total of 2,415 blood donations in 2018, saved 7,245 lives, and CSU was the fourth largest blood donation university in Australia.

CSU supports Committee 4 Wagga future leaders initiative

Wednesday, 20 Feb 2019

* CSU to provide resource and professional development support to local leadership initiative – Wagga School Leaders Program

* The Program focuses on nurturing Wagga Wagga’s future leaders

* CSU AgriTech Incubator in Wagga Wagga will host the Program launch and Module One of the Program on Thursday 21 February

Charles Sturt University (CSU) representatives will attend the official launch of the 2019 Committee 4 Wagga (C4W) School Leaders Program - a community initiative designed to nurture aspiring local leaders, and build a network of young Wagga Ambassadors.

The Wagga School Leaders Program (WSLP), which has been running since 2016 is an example of the C4W’s core objective to develop and expand a leadership base, while enabling the local community to initiate and effect positive change.

CSU Strategic Adviser Regional Development the Hon. Fiona Nash, will be presenting at the 2019 official launch on Thursday and said that the Program offers fantastic professional development opportunities to the next generation of regional leaders.

“Being involved in an initiative like this that nurtures our young leaders, demonstrates the strength of our regional communities and encourages us to think progressively about our future challenges, shows how important we believe it is for Charles Sturt University to invest in growing stronger regions,” Ms Nash said.

“We sometimes forget that a third of our nation is made up of people living outside of capital cities so it’s crucial that we support initiatives that foster the capability and leadership needed to assure strong regional growth into the future.”

The Program schedule for 2019 is made up of seven different modules that cover topics on leadership, health, well-being and more broadly, the environment of the local community and what it means to be a Wagga Ambassador.

Students selected by the participating Wagga Wagga high schools, will attend six single-day sessions across the course in the first half of the school year, with each of the seven modules of the curriculum designed to achieve different learning outcomes.

The Program engages students in a series of challenging exercises including workshops, lectures, regional industry excursions, physical activities and mentoring sessions to develop their capacity to become successful leaders and community representatives.

C4W Chair, Michael Quirk will provide the official overview and launch of the program on Thursday.

Mr Quirk said that it has been fundamental to have the CSU AgriTech Incubator as a resource to facilitate the students learning experience.

“Participation in the School Leaders Program should assist participants to analyse their strengths and areas for development; enable them to set personal and vocational goals; and, develop their self-awareness and self-confidence to ensure those goals are achieved,” Mr Quirk said.

“The C4W recognises the importance of community leaders taking responsibility for the development of our city’s future leaders.  We are extremely thankful to the sponsors and supporters involved, and for CSU and C4W it is an excellent opportunity to showcase our burgeoning community relationship.”

The program for 2019 will be delivered by C4W Program Consultant, Chris Fitzpatrick and Lisa Simpson, supported by C4W Executive Assistant Michelle Ford.

For more information on WSLP visit

Twenty one years of whiz, fizz and bangs in chemistry

Friday, 15 Feb 2019

* Riverina Year 12 students will have experienced 21 years of whizzes, fizzes and bangs when they participate in this year’s HSC Chemistry Days at CSU

* Students from far-flung high schools gather to complete parts of their Chemistry course that they cannot do in their school

* Students will visit CSU’s world-class facilities and learn about course and career options

Final year students from far-flung high schools will gather in Wagga Wagga next week to complete parts of their Chemistry course for the Higher School Certificate (HSC).

About 220 Year 12 students from 20 NSW high schools will travel up to 450 kilometres to Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga to undertake a series of experiments and practice their skills on equipment that is not available in their own schools.

While visiting the campus, they will also experience the CSU facilities and staff, and live a slice of University life.

“We want to show students, and teachers, some of what we have to offer science students, particularly the world-class facilities and equipment, as well as courses and career opportunities,” said CSU chemistry lecturer and course director Dr Celia Barril.

“This program has been running for 21 years in collaboration with the Eastern Riverina Science Teacher Association, with the aim of filling important requirements for Chemistry students in their HSC, while also promoting careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, particularly chemistry.”

Students will complete experiments on acidity and basicity of common household products, iron content of cereals, and water acidification during the week commencing Monday 18 February.

“Students take part to short activities demonstrating chemistry concepts and their application in our modern world.

“We will also discuss studies and career paths in chemistry and science in general. Everyone participates, the students and their teachers and CSU staff - it is a great program!,” Dr Barril said.

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