Video | Business Headlines | Internet | Science | Scientific Ethics | Technology | Search


Cooking up a healthy solution for Nepal

Cooking up a healthy solution for Nepal

Using their engineering skills to create a range of sustainable solutions for villagers in Nepal was the focus of this year’s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge.

The winning team from Albany designed a clay oven hood, which also featured a small compartment to store dry collected wood. The prototype uses cleverly-positioned air holes to allow a more efficient burning process, and ventilation of harmful smoke up through the clay hood, and out through the chimney.

Dubbed “Team One”, students Dorrin Asefi, Natassja Benefield, Ryan Bougen and Kahn Caute will go on to represent Albany at the national EWB Challenge, to be held later in the year.

Senior lecturer in the School of Engineering and Advanced Technology Dr Aruna Shekar says the EWB Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for first-year students to work together on all the phases of a design project, and come up with something useful.

“The judges commented on the high calibre of entries from students this year, and we’ve seen this competition grow from strength to strength since it started. It’s a great way for our students to get hands-on practical experience in working on a project.

“They have to come up with a concept and then create a prototype using products that would be easily available in Nepal. We give them background data, including population, rainfall and the issues the villagers face. It takes them out of their comfort zones and gets them to think about sustainability, and how to help people in underdeveloped countries.”

The competition is part of a first year engineering paper, and this year 65 students took part. The paper provides students with the opportunity to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real, sustainable, affordable and cross-cultural development projects.

“Team One’s solution was selected because it would make a huge impact on the quality of air in a Nepalese villager’s home, and they took into consideration the context, locally available materials, economics, ease of construction and maintainability,” says Dr Shekar.

Teams from the Albany campus have won the national EWB challenge for the last two years, and Dr Shekar is hoping this year’s team will make it three years in a row. The winning national team travels to Australia and represents New Zealand against a number of Australian universities.

For more information on Engineers Without Borders, go to their website:


© Scoop Media

Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines


Oceans: NOAA Declares Third Ever Global Coral Bleaching Event

As record ocean temperatures cause widespread coral bleaching across Hawaii, NOAA scientists confirm the same stressful conditions are expanding to the Caribbean and may last into the new year, prompting the declaration of the third global coral bleaching event ever on record. More>>

Scoop Business: A Decade Of Government Pre-Seed Investment

More publicly-funded science is being commercialised after a decade of government ‘pre-see’d investment, according to an independent review. More>>


Solid Energy: Plan To Shut Unprofitable Huntly East Mine

Solid Energy, the state-owned coal miner in voluntary administration, plans to shut down its unprofitable Huntly East mine and lay off 65 staff after deciding the site stands "no chance whatsoever" of finding a buyer. More>>


E Tū: Merger Creates NZ's Biggest Private Sector Union

E tū has been created by the merger of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Service and Food Workers’ Union. It represents more than 50,000 working New Zealanders in industries as diverse as aviation, construction, journalism, food manufacturing, mining and cleaning. More>>


Internet: NZ Govt Lifts Target Speeds For Rural Broadband

The government has lifted its expectations on faster broadband speeds for rural New Zealand as it targets increased spending on research and development in the country's information and communications technology sector, which it sees as a key driver for export growth. More>>


Banks: Westpac Keeps Core Government Transactions Contract

The local arm of Westpac Banking Corp has kept its contract with the New Zealand government to provide core transactions, but will have to share peripheral services with its rivals. More>>


Science Investment Plan: Universities Welcome Statement

Universities New Zealand has welcomed the National Statement of Science Investment released by the Government today... this is a critical document as it sets out the Government’s ten-year strategic direction that will guide future investment in New Zealand’s science system. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news