Education Policy | Post Primary | Preschool | Primary | Tertiary | Search

 


Condensed Engineering Course Inspires International Students


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Condensed Engineering Course Inspires International Students


Students on an accelerated engineering degree took on a challenge that usually takes a full academic year to complete, and came up with three practical solutions in six months.


The challenge laid down by Engineers Without Borders (EWB), in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Vietnam, was to develop innovative solutions for sustainable development of the Anh Minh district within the Kien Giang province on the Mekong Delta, at the southern tip of Vietnam. Although the Mekong Delta produces around 50 per cent of Vietnam’s rice, it is one of the poorest regions in the country.


Senior lecturer in product development, and paper coordinator Dr Aruna Shekar says the challenge gives first-year students an opportunity to research ideas linked to real world scenarios and to get hands-on experience in problem solving.


“This cohort of students are the first intake of engineering students for the acclerated programme, and they’ve come from all over the world to study engineering at Massey University. In the accelerated programme the engineering practice courses are compressed into blocks, so the students have to work towards very tight deadlines to complete all the work required.”


Three teams of four students each had to present their project to a panel of judges, including a representative from EWB, and answer tough questions in English on their research, design and the final project development.


Of the three projects presented, the winning one was a fuel-efficient cooking stove that utilised locally-sourced components, burned twigs and sticks and also had a chimney to direct smoke away from the cooking area. The other projects were water filtration systems — one created largely using bamboo and the other from locally-sourced low-cost materials.


The students are the first group to study under an accelerated programme which condenses the time spent on a four-year Bachelor of Engineering with honours degree. By condensing the first year into six intense months, the students complete their degree in three-and-a-half years.


The cohort of mainly international students arrived at the Albany campus in August last year, at the start of the Northern Hemisphere spring. Being able to start the accelerated programme so soon after their home country’s academic year was over proved to be a real bonus.


“In India our academic year ends in March, so I would have had to wait for a whole year to get into this course,” says Alfred Moses from India. “We had a small class – there were only 15 of us, so we had a lot of attention from our lecturers. We could ask them anything.”


As well as improving their English skills, the students were able to settle into New Zealand life, and are looking forward to starting their second year of studies shortly.


Massey University engineering students have won the New Zealand EWB challenge for the last two years.


The Engineers Without Borders Challenge is run by EWB Australia, with a chapter in New Zealand. It is part of an international organisation that works on grassroots engineering programmes for sustainable development in disadvantaged communities around the world.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

With Hunters & Collectors: The Rolling Stones Announce New Auckland Date

It’s the news New Zealand has been waiting for. The Rolling Stones today confirmed the rescheduled dates and venues for both the Australian and New Zealand legs of their highly anticipated ’14 On Fire’ tour. Now, Frontier Touring is also delighted ... More>>

ALSO:

Flying Things: Conchords, Pretties Help BATS Fly Home

The launch of BATS theatre’s fundraising campaign has taken off – with a bit of help from their friends. And with friends like theirs… An event last night hosted by Te Radar at Wellington’s latest waterfront venue, Shed 6, featured Fly My Pretties and, in a dream-come-true scenario, Flight of the Conchords. More>>

ALSO:

Environment: Zoo’s Own Wētā Workshop Produces Rare Giants For Release

Following unprecedented breeding and rearing success, Auckland Zoo is today releasing 150 of New Zealand’s largest giant wētā, the wētā punga, onto pest-free Motuora Island in the Hauraki Gulf. A further 150 will be released onto Tiritiri Matangi next month. More>>

Girls On Film: Divergent Hits The Big Screen

n January, Catching Fire (the second film in the Hunger Games series) not only became the biggest US box office success of 2013 : it also became the first film starring a female actor (ie. Jennifer Lawrence) to top the annual domestic earnings chart since The Exorcist, 40 years ago. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: No Travel Sanctions For Russian Billionaire’s Superyacht

On the same day that New Zealand announced travel sanctions against selected Russians, a Russian billionaire’s superyacht berthed in Wellington Harbour. More>>

ALSO:

Mental Health: UC Researchers Believe Robots Can Persuade People To Conform

A team of University of Canterbury (UC) researchers and scientists believe robots can persuade people to conform through group pressure... ``Our results showed that robots can induce conformity but to a significantly lesser degree than humans." More>>

NZ On Air: Local Content Holds Steady At 32% Of Television Schedules

Since 1989 NZ On Air has measured local free-to-air television content. The report compares the schedules of the six national free-to-air channels, to observe trends and changes in the local content landscape. More>>

Arts Fest: 2014 New Zealand Festival A Spectacular Celebration

The New Zealand Festival welcomed the world to Wellington over 24 days (21 Feb – 16 Mar) of arts events across the city. “[current figures show] slight increase on the 110,000 tickets issued in 2012. It’s a great result.” More>>

Opera: Happy 70th Birthday Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

Our first lady of song who “feels more like at 15 year old” will celebrate her significant birthday on stage at Covent Garden tomorrow night (Friday morning NZT), performing in the Royal Opera House’s production of La fille du régiment (The Daughter of the Regiment) as La Duchess de Crackentorp. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Education
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news