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Mechanically engineered for success

A team of James Cook University budding engineers have finished in the top five in an international design competition

First published 16 October 2012

A team of James Cook University budding engineers have finished in the top five in an international design competition.

Second-year JCU mechanical engineering students Cameron Van Der Berg, Dominic Barra, and Patrick Staunton recently participated in the 2012 National finals for the 25th Warman Design and Build Competition in Sydney.

The competition, which is organised by Engineering Australia, saw the JCU team compete against teams from 16 universities from Australia, New Zealand, and Malaysia.

The competition, which is open to students in mechanical engineering who are in their first or second year of study, receives entries from the Asia Pacific region, with most from Australia and NZ.

Heats are held as part of design engineering courses, typically in second year, at most universities. The campus winners then converge on the national final to determine who are the region's best budding designers.

The 2012 Competition was titled “Project Silver", with the challenge being to design a prototype system to move the replenishment sphere (payload) from a store to the intended height datum on the balloon tether.

Teams were required to design, build and prove a prototype system in a laboratory environment that serves to deliver autonomously a supply package to a balloon based observation facility, using the balloon tether to deliver the supply package.

They were asked to design the best system to “Strategically Innovate for Laterally and Vertically Effected Replenishment”.

Coordinator Dr Rong Situ, from JCU’s School of Engineering and Physical Sciences congratulated the trio.

“Cameron, Dominic, and Patrick have successfully realised their fantastic design concepts in a controllable and consistent way,” he said.

“JCU has been very strong among the participating universities. We won the competition in the 1989 national final, and recently achieved the 2nd place in 2010.

As well as JCU, other universities represented at the National Final 2012 included UNI SA, Flinders University, AUT, Canterbury, RMIT, Adelaide University, Monash University, Monash University @Malaysia, Newcastle University, UNSW @ADFA, University of Melbourne, the University of Auckland, UTS and UNSW.

JCU Media contact: Caroline Kaurila (07) 4781 4586 or 0437 028 175