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IPENZ award for Waikato engineering students

19 December, 2013

IPENZ award for Waikato engineering students

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Thomas White and Rene Engelbrecht with their design poster at the University of Waikato’s Engineering Design Show earlier this year.

University of Waikato fourth-year engineering students Thomas White and Rene Engelbrecht have been awarded a $1000 prize for their final year engineering design project.

The award was given by the Waikato/Bay of Plenty branch of Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ).

“Our project presented the feasibility, design and cost analysis of a Gas to Liquid (GTL) plant in New Zealand. GTL technology converts natural gas into liquid fuel (diesel). Our report presented the process design of a GTL plant capable of producing 16,500, 27,500 and 38,500 bbl/d of diesel corresponding to 30, 50 and 70% of New Zealand’s diesel transportation fuel demands,” says Rene.

The projects were assessed on the criteria of innovation, usefulness, safety and resource-efficiency. The judges selected the ‘Liquid Fuel Synthesis via Fischer-Tropsch using Natural Gas’ project as they thought it showed great clarity of overview and was very clearly described in detail.

Both students have recently completed their Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) degrees in the Materials and Process Engineering programme and have found employment.

Hamilton Boys’ High School old boy Thomas has already taken up a position at Beca - one of the largest engineering consultancy service companies in the Asia-Pacific region. He is currently based in Hamilton. 

Former Sacred Heart Girls’ College student Rene has a position lined up as a graduate process engineer for Technip Oceania based in New Plymouth. Technip offer project management, engineering design and construction for the energy industry, more specifically the oil and gas industry in New Zealand.

“My study at Waikato has given me a solid foundation in process engineering fundamentals that I can now build on and apply in industry. This design project is a perfect example of how my studies have helped me, because the topic is directly related to the industry and type of work I want to do. However, I think the key principle my degree has taught me is how to apply and relate theories taught in class to real life,” says Rene.  


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