UC Connect: The future of tertiary education
24 March 2016 What can the five-year-old Productivity Commission add to a thousand-year-old institution? (read article)
Formula SAE Racecar
The Formula SAE Racecar is a student-run competition where the students design, construct and race a single-seat racecar. The 2015 car was painted in pink and blue, in tribute to the late Christchurch engineer and entrepreneur John Britten, who designed and built the famous Britten V1000 motorcycle. More information about the project can be found on their Facebook page here.
Warman Design and Build Competition
The Warman comeptition is a fun competition where second year mechanical engineering students design and build a device to undertake a set task each year. The winning team from UC travels to Australia to compete against universities from across Australasia. A video about the competition can be seen here.
Mechanical Engineering Crystal Growing Competition
This prestigious competition is running once again in 2016 in the ENME207 Materials Science and Engineering course. The 2015 champions were Ben Cartwright and George Stillwell. Note the irony of the trophy that has been 3D printed from an amorphous ABS polymer.
Final Year Project team win national engineering prize
The Ray Meyer Medal for Excellence in Student Design for 2016 has been awarded to Mo Chalabi (Mechatronics), Thomas Coughlan (Mechanical), Josh Heenan (Mechanical) and Abel Leenders (Mechanical) for their Final Year Project, Service Cover Detection for Pavement Milling. The project was supervised by UC senior lecturer Dr Geoff Rodgers and client Ian Viney of international technology company Trimble.The award is made annually for the best student engineering project from all New Zealand universities and polytechnics and was presented to the winning team at the IPENZ Fellows and Achievers Dinner on Friday, 18 March, in Wellington. This win means that Mechanical Engineerng students at UC have won the excellence award 10 times in the last 12 years.
UC Motorsport students take podium position in global race
Undergraduate Final Year Project students have celebrated a podium finish in the prestigious Formula SAE 2015 competition in Melbourne. The team, comprising students from both Mechanical Engineering and Mechatronics Engineering, was one of 30 international university teams taking part. Each team designs and builds a car from scratech to race and are judged not only on speed but also on factors such as endurance, acceleration and efficiency. UC Faculty Advisor to the team Bruce Robertson attributed the success to the teams exceptionally high level of organisation. UC Motorsport finished 3rd overall after taking first place in skid pan testing and 2nd place in the autocross and business presentation parts of the competition.
Bioengineering team win Best Paper Award at the International Conference for Innovation in Biomedical Engineering and Life Sciences 2015
A co-authored paper produced by a joint team from UC, Budapest University of Technology and Economics, Canterbury District Health Board and the University of Monash-Malaysia has won the Best Paper Award in Biomedical Science and Technology at the ICIBEL 2015 held in Putrajaya, Malaysia. The UC members of the team included Mechanical Engineering Undergraduate Final Year Project students Felix Newberry, Don Kannangara and Sarah Howe, along with Postgraduate students Vinny Major and Daniel Redmond. The winning paper is entitled Iterative interpolative pressure reconstruction for improved respiratory mechanics estimation during asynchronous volume controlled ventilation. The award is great recognition for a significant research outcome from a Final Year Project group in conjunction with international project sponsors and collaborators.
UCSA Lecturer of the Year Awards
Congratulations to Dr Geoff Rodgers & Dr Sid Becker
on recieving awards at the UCSA Lecturer of the Year
award ceremony, arranged by the UCSA Welfare and Advocacy Team.
Dr Rodgers won the top prize of Lecturer of the Year 2015 and Dr Sid Becker received the award for Most Enthusiatic Lecturer.
2015 Weir-Warman Competition
Congratulations to Mechanical Engineering students Toby White, Angus Mabin, Laura Myers and Tom Morgan who represented UC in the Australasian Weir-Warman 2015 competition achieving 2nd place overall. The competition was extremely close and the team have been outstanding ambassadors for the department.
One of the four new James Cook Research Fellowships has been awarded to Distinguished Professor Geoff Chase for his research entitled: "The (unknown) role of arterial mechanics in sepsis and shock (TRAMS)".
Dr Geoff Rodgers will receive one of 12 new Rutherford Discovery Fellowships awarded to rising stars of research for his earthquake-related research.
Mechanical Engineering PhD student Tim Flint will research computational fluid dynamics and fluid dynamic shape optimisation at Stanford University, California, after recently receiving a Fulbright Award to support his studies. Tim graduated with a BE (Hons) specialising in Mechanical Engineering from UC in 2015.
Joseph Corbett-Davies will complete a PhD in Mechanical Engineering researching algorithms for control and planning in robotic systems at Cornell University in New York State, having also received a Fulbright Award. Joseph graduated with a BE (Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering from UC in 2014.
The Fulbright Awards are for promising New Zealand graduates to undertake postgraduate study or research at US institutions in fields targeted to support growth and innovation in New Zealand.
Mechanical Engineering PhD student Amy McLeod awarded the Keith Williamson Medal
Mechanical Engineering PhD student Amy McLeod recently presented at the 27th New Zealand Conference on Microscopy, where she was awarded the Keith Williamson Medal for excellence in microscopy research. The award is made to the young microscopist at the conference who is judged to have presented the most innovative technique, inventive use of an instrument, and/or original interpretation of results.
Part of Amy’s PhD project involves using microscopy to characterize the microstructure of highly carburized, high temperature stainless steel tubes, with an aim to relate the microstructural characteristics to mechanical properties and magnetic response to assist in remaining life assessment. Amy presented her recent work in determining the best method for image analysis of the complex microstructures, which led to the use of an unconventional combination of EDS mapping, SEI imaging, and automated image segmentation with a recently released software framework, ilastik. The image below shows an elemental map from the scanning electron microscope.
Mechanical Engineering Students have won the Medical Poster Award at the 38th Australia New Zealand Intensive Care Society Annual Scientific Meeting (38th ANZICS ASM) in Melbourne on October 7-10, 2014. The software is called CURE Soft. Predator and Alien are the two main algorithms the team has developed that make CURE Soft “go”.
New funding for biomaterials research
Dr Mark Staiger is working with collaborator Dr. George Dias (University of Otago) to develop degradable magnesium plates and screws that will reduce hospital costs and improve patient outcomes, representing a paradigm shift in the current technology. The proposal recently received a grant of $690,000 in funding from the Health Research Council. This new approach to orthopaedic biomaterials will deliver reduced patient recovery time by enhancing new bone formation and reduce cost by eliminating the need for secondary surgery to remove implants. Based on the number of plates used annually at Dunedin Hospital and the cost of maxillofacial surgery, plate removal alone is estimated to cost the New Zealand health system $12 million a year, while worldwide the total costs are staggering.
Many of New Zealand’s forests are located on steep slopes which requires manual tree felling. The forestry industry has one of the highest fatality rates in New Zealand. Currently there are no solutions for mechanised tree felling on steep slopes. Excavators and level swing machines are limited to a maximum slope of 27⁰. In 2013, SCION and a University of Canterbury developed a manoeuvrable biped tree traversing robot capable of moving from one tree to another. A team of Mechanical Engineering students is currently designing, fabricating and testing an attachable cutting head to the existing tree-traversing robot.
Recently elected Fellows of IPENZ for their contribution to the advancement of engineering knowledge and technological education
Professor Milo Kral - recognised for his contributions to failure analysis in the field of metallurgy.
Professor XiaoQi chen - recognised for his contributions within the field of mechatronics.
What is the largest source by far of affordable, low-carbon energy available for development? If people think the answer is wind or solar or even hydro, University of Canterbury mechanical engineering professor Susan Krumdieck says they might be surprised.