Engineering team excels with ‘planet-saving’ solution

A Flinders University engineering team was ranked SA’s top team at the 31st Warman Design and Build Challenge in Sydney, recording the best result since Flinders took equal first place in 2012.

Each year, the Warman Design and Build Competition challenges mechanical engineering students across Australia and New Zealand to solve a problem faced by the fictitious people of Gondwana, who face imminent disaster.

This year’s challenge, Project PRAISE, required relocating energy orbs that provide power to vital water pumps.

The device built by the Flinders University Team for the National Challenge placed fifth out of 19 other competing teams in a year when the level of competition was exceptionally high.

The device built by the four-person Flinders team – comprising Philippa Tsirgiotis, Hayden Archibald, Nathaniel O’Conner and Lachlan Wilson – made extensive use of rapid prototyping techniques, with the design maximising the available space.

Reliability proved to be the key to the success of their device (called J.O.E.), and although the device was not as fast as some other competing devices it performed the task perfectly in both heats, claiming maximum points.

The device that the Flinders students built will be in operation at Tonsley as part of Open Night on 7 December.

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