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Real-world application drives student inspiration

21 August 2017
Student inspired innovation

Our Leadership Scholars and Advanced Engineering students share their solutions to meeting community needs.

innovation by students

From field work in India and Samoa to sustainable alternative fencing and new approaches to disaster relief, our undergraduate students are applying their knowledge to development and remote communities around the world and across Australia.

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies recently celebrated their efforts at a special event during the University of Sydney’s 2017 Innovation Week.

Student Inspired Innovation lauded the efforts of our Leadership Scholars, Advanced Engineering students and those who engaged with our pioneering Humanitarian Engineering major.

“This initiative celebrates the diversity of our curriculum and the outstanding work undertaken by our undergraduate cohort with real-world and industry-based outcomes,” said Professor Archie Johnston.

“It highlights how our students can help break down barriers and work collaboratively with the community.”

The Advanced Engineering Program is open to students demonstrating outstanding academic ability and offers the opportunity to work at the advanced level in science or engineering subjects, or in a small supervised project group tackling a specific engineering problem relevant to the community. 

Advanced Engineering students projects showcased during Student Inspired Innovation included:

  • Loose Screws - FENCE – A Sustainable Alternative Fencing: Annika Allen, Arjun Bhuyan, Ivy H,  Daniel Landro, Luke Mcpherson and Elly Williams
  • Tengineers - Metres of Litres – Rainwater CollectionDesmond Chiang, Onam Khan, Kane Sayer, Vivienne Smith, Gary Wang and Zeph Yap
  • Team 75+WAM – Power to the People: An alternative approach to Disaster Relief: Jaz Chouha, Bella Croker, Lauren McNamara, Jack Naylor, Gabriel Raubenheimer and David Shead

The Humanitarian Engineering major teaches our students how to apply their core engineering skills to complex humanitarian engineering problems through case studies, guest seminars and fieldwork experiences.

“The fieldwork experience along will develop essential professional skills in working in cross-cultural multi-disciplinary teams in complex environments,” said Dr Jacqueline Thomas, who spear-heads the initiative.

“Many students said that Global Engineering Fieldwork was the first time in their degrees that they had the opportunity to apply their engineering skills and innovative thinking to a real-world problem”

“The humanitarian engineering major is designed to give undergraduate engineers the initial knowledge needed to begin applying their skills effectively to development, disaster and indigenous contexts”

Humanitarian Engineering student projects showcased during Student Inspired Innovation included:

  • India fieldwork: Saving water in rural Gujarat through an innovative shower water toilet flush system: Thomas Bouvy and Susan Huynh-Quy
  • Samoa fieldwork: Agricultural post-processing of taro to increase earnings for small-hold farmers in SamoaRameen Malik, Jean-Paul Semaan, Tracey Huang and Enda Seyama-Heneghan