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UC students win national engineering medal

UC students win national engineering medal

March 21, 2014

A group of University of Canterbury (UC) mechanical engineering students have won the national Ray Meyer Medal for designing a robot that can move from tree to tree.

The award by the Institution of Professional Engineers New Zealand (IPENZ) is made annually for the best student engineering project from all universities and polytechnics.

The winning students who designed the tree-traversing robot were Scott Paulin, Sean Bayley, Thomas Gilbert and George Wareing. Their supervisor was Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt from UC and industry mentor was Scion’s Dr Richard Parker.

Dr Gutschmidt says the bi-pedal robot is capable of traversing between simulated trees, in a laboratory environment. The project was supported by Scion, Future Forests Research and the Ministry of Primary Industries.

"The idea, conceived by Crown Research Institute Scion, was to design a robot that could move from tree-to-tree for navigating through a forest especially for steep slope harvesting.

"Steep-slope robotic felling would result in a significant improvement to the safety and efficiency of forestry tree harvesting in New Zealand.

"Mechanical engineering at UC has won the Ray Meyer Medal six times in the last 10 years which is a huge boost to our prestige as the No.1 engineering college in New Zealand.

"The award is a massive endorsement of the quality of our teaching and research at UC and it also reflects the outstanding capability of our students to complete projects whose tangible deliverables have significant impact for end-users, companies, sponsors and the country," Dr Gutschmidt says.


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