Engineering students win Trans-Tasman award
11 June 2012
Four mechanical engineering graduates returned to the University of Canterbury to accept a prestigious award for their cutting-edge railway engineering design.
Edward Barclay, Daniel Lewis, Shane Rodger, and Robert Williams accepted the 2012 Railway Technical Society of Australasia (RTSA) Railway Engineering Student Thesis Runners-Up Award for their joint thesis entitled Dry Powder Rail Wagon Design, which they completed in 2011.
The RTSA award is given to students who create an outstanding final year project in Australia or New Zealand on the topic of railway engineering as part of an engineering degree programme.
The annual award, which was presented by Simon Wood, Executive Chair of the RTSA for Australasia, includes a $2000 cash prize and was given to the four students during this year’s Final Year Projects mid-year presentations in front of students, staff and sponsors.
Their project was sponsored by KiwiRail and aims to develop a unique cement hopper wagon discharge system necessary to satisfy a stringent discharge rate of 500 tonnes per hour per wagon required at the dedicated unloading and storage facility at the New Zealand Port of Timaru.
“A lot of universities don’t do anything comparable to the calibre of our final year projects. The real world experience we gained was invaluable,” said Shane, who also thanked the RTSA on behalf of the group and their KiwiRail sponsors.
The project was supervised by Dr John Pearse (Mechanical Engineering) as part of Mechanical Engineering’s Final Year Projects course, coordinated by Dr Dirk Pons (Mechanical Engineering).
Final year projects in Mechanical Engineering provide a bridge from academic work to professional practice, with sponsors from industry providing the project, a mentor and a grant.
Shane is currently working in Western Australia as a project engineer for Monadelphous. Daniel is employed by Powell Fenwick Consultants in Christchurch, and Robert is employed by Comtec Consulting in Invercargill. Edward is currently pursuing his Master of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering at UC.
It is the second time that UC mechanical engineering students have received the runners-up award since 2010.
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