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Navman Has Designs On Uni Students

Navman Has Designs On Uni Students

Glamour electronics company, Navman NZ, is on the lookout for some of New Zealand's brightest brains.

The company has over $280,000 in FRST funding to put towards undergraduate and graduate research projects in several NZ universities to expand its GPS technology expertise.

It is also about to begin the 2003 round of Navman-sponsored design project competitions amongst 3rd and 4th year electronics and engineering students at Auckland University.

For the past five years, Navman has funded an annual electronics design competition at the University of Auckland, with a win-win scenario both for students and company.

Peter Maire, Navman President explains: "We have been working closely to help make courses industry-relevant and give the students a taste of commercial reality. Navman is also involved with programmes such as the Navman Science and Technology Experience, the Genesis Research Science & Technology Forum and the Bright Sparks programmes, which encourage secondary school students into science and engineering careers."

To provide industry relevance, the projects generally chosen by the university students relate to Navman's new product areas and have included fine-tuning an autopilot system and an analogue wind instrument (which rounds out the Navman marine range) as well as investigating dead reckoning technology to overcome GPS downtime in urban canyons or tunnels.

A number of the students go on to employment with the company, joining the team of engineers who contribute to Navman's booming export market for marine, personal and land GPS technology.

Auckland University graduate, Hayden Rosser, was one of the 2002 winners, looking at a lower cost microprocessor for Navman's in-car navigation systems. Rosser is continuing his work at Navman, employed as a software developer in the company's land navigation division.

His work, while applicable to Navman's strategy to be ultra competitive in land navigation products, has also provided resources for future university classes.

Professor Allan Williamson, Head of the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Dept at Auckland University says the Navman alliance is a valuable one for both parties.

"We are grateful to Navman for their past, and indeed their increasing involvement in our design classes. Their emphasis on R&D, coupled with their outstanding market success brings commercial reality to life in these courses," he says.

Professor Williamson says this complements the electrical engineering theory, to provide students with a rounded experience. "Navman's involvement with us, and their commitment to electrical engineering education is an exemplar of effective university-industry partnership."

* Peter Maire or Tony Price, Navman, 09 481 0500 About Navman: * Navman is a recognised world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of high reliability GPS products for the marine, personal GPS, fleet management and OEM markets. * It is one of New Zealand's fastest growing companies, employing 300 people globally in Australia, USA, Europe and its home base in New Zealand. * The company was recently named Trade New Zealand's Supreme Exporter of 2002 as well as New Zealand's Hi- Tech Company of the year. Visit Navman at

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