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Posts Tagged ‘UQ Engineering’

Monday, July 4th, 2016

UQ engineering team blitzes NASA competition

Designing and building rockets and sending them into space is one of the most expensive endeavours on earth, costing upwards of $500 million.

But a team of University of Queensland engineers has come up with a cheap 3D-printable solution, earning them first place in the NASA Brisbane International Space Apps Challenge and an invitation to the international competition.

UQ engineering team blitzes NASA competition

UQ Rocket3D team (Photo credit: UQ)

The Rocket3D team, made up of UQ tunnel engineer Sam Grieve, and Thomas Reddell and Jianyong Wang, PhD students at the School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering, were given a brief to design a rocket that could be built inside the Kennedy Space Center.

“We chose to design a 3D-printed rocket because the technology has many advantages and it’s much easier to create complex geometries” Mr Grieve said.

“One guy in the competition produced a fully functioning asteroid mining computer game, which was absolutely amazing! It was a huge honour to be selected over that.”

The UQ engineering Rocket3D team incorporated an unconventional features into their design—an Aerospike engine—which they said would potentially provide a 30 per cent increase in fuel efficiency.

“Usually these engines aren’t used as they have problems with cooling, but a 3D-printed version could incorporate complex cooling channels as well as mass air pockets to improve cooling,” Mr Grieve said.

The competition, which challenges teams to find solutions to complex problems within 48 hours, is run simultaneously at locations around the world.

Ideas are summarised into a 10-minute pitch to a judging panel that considers if projects could be turned into viable product.

“Having a background studying and working at UQ was certainly a great advantage, as I had the confidence to approach problems that were new and unusual,” Mr Grieve said.


Discover more about UQ engineering degrees! Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Wednesday, January 27th, 2016

UQ engineering student named Young Australian of the Year

Selfless work creating change for homeless people has propelled a University of Queensland student to be named Young Australian of the Year

Bachelor of Engineering/Bachelor of Commerce student Lucas Patchett and business partner Nic Marchesi established Orange Sky Laundry, a free mobile clothes-washing service for the homeless.

The pair jointly won the prestigious national award at the Australian of the Year Awards in Canberra on Jan. 25, where winners were announced in four categories.

UQ Engineering School

Lucas Patchett (left) and Nic Marchesi converted an old van into a mobile laundromat and now washing 200 loads a week (Photo: University of Queensland)

Mr Patchett and Mr Marchesi were announced as the Queensland Young Australians of the Year in November. At that time, Mr Patchett said he was shocked to receive the state awards.

“I’ve been blown away by the support we’ve been getting and seeing how generous people are,” Mr Patchett said.

Orange Sky Laundry began in September 2014 when the two best mates converted an old van into a mobile laundromat which they drove around Brisbane.

Last year they took their mobile laundry to North Queensland to wash clothes in cyclone-ravaged communities.

“We’re now washing more than 200 loads each week,” Mr Patchett said. “We also have to say thank you to our 250-plus volunteers, who are fantastic.”

The UQ engineering student said his work with Mr Marchesi was about more than just washing clothes.

“One of the first guys we helped actually studied engineering like me,” Mr Patchett said. “But after some bad luck in life he ended up on the street, and that really opened our eyes to the massive issue of how easily homelessness can happen.

“We really want to start a national conversation.”

In just over a year, services have expanded rapidly, with four vans now running in Brisbane as well as the Gold Coast and in Victoria.

The pair plans to expand across Australia and to introduce a training and employment model.

Another UQ student, Tasman Bain, was a finalist in the Queensland Young Australian of the Year awards.

Mr Bain has founded a youth-led women’s rights initiative in Papua New Guinea, served as a UNICEF youth ambassador and volunteered for many charitable organisations.


Want more information about engineering programs available at the University of Queensland? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Engineering Schools Admissions Officer Shannon Tilston at shannon@oztrekk.com.

Thursday, April 4th, 2013

UQ School of Civil Engineering helps minimize environmental impacts in the Solomon Islands

The University of Queensland has joined industry partners in a program designed to help ensure a major mining project takes account of the needs of Solomon Islands communities and the environment.

The partnership between UQ’s School of Civil Engineering, international consulting firm Golder Associates Pty Ltd and global group Sumitomo Metal Mining will undertake an environmental and social impact assessment of a proposed large-scale nickel mine in the Solomon Islands.

Lead researcher and School of Civil Engineering academic Dr Simon Albert said the mining project had the potential to provide significant benefits to the economy of the Solomon Islands, but it was essential that diverse social and environmental values were maintained.

“Given the local communities rely on marine and terrestrial resources for food, transport, medicine and shelter, it is critical to minimize the impact of the project on the local environment through the implementation of sustainable practices,” Dr Albert said.

He said the Solomon Islands had limited development opportunities to support the government in providing essential services to the mostly rural communities.

“The few resource extraction activities that do exist often come at a high environmental cost due to limited environmental regulations and small companies with limited experience,” the engineering academic said.

The Sumitomo Solomon Islands Nickel Project brings together Sumitomo’s 400-year history in mining, Golder’s global experience in environmental and social impact assessments and UQ’s world-class research capacity.

Dr Albert said this would ensure the mining project was well placed to minimize environmental impacts through the implementation of sustainable practices.

The UQ research team consists of Dr Albert, Dr Alistair Grinham and Dr Badin Gibbes, who have expertise in research on the environment, water resources and hydrology.

Dr Grinham said it was essential that marine water quality was monitored throughout the process to ensure international guidelines were met.

“This project provides a rare chance to collect high-precision data from the top of the catchment, freshwater streams, estuaries, coral reef lagoons, and down to deep sea that we can use to guide numerical models,” Dr Grinham said.

The School of Civil Engineering Head Professor José Torero said the project recognized the engineering school’s reputation in producing high-quality research.

“This phase of the project is worth approximately one million dollars, providing significant research experience to the school and the university,” Professor Torero said and added that these types of partnerships raise the UQ School of Civil Engineering’s profile in the water and mining industry, which can lead to further opportunities within these sectors.

About the UQ School of Civil Engineering

The School of Civil Engineering at the University of Queensland is renowned for civil engineering teaching and research in water, environmental, geotechnical, structural and transportation engineering.

Graduates of the engineering school school can be found all over the world, working at all levels of government and industry. UQ alumni are taking leading roles in helping to build cleaner and sustainable industries, provide waste and pollution control and guide improved resource management.

With the job market yielding many opportunities both nationally and internationally, it’s an exciting time to be a civil engineer. Studying at UQ’s School of Civil Engineering prepares students for a successful career in a field that is expanding and evolving along with the world in which we live.


Learn more about studying engineering at the University of Queensland and at other Australian universities. Contact OzTREKK for more information about Australian Engineering Schools and about how you can study in Australia. Call toll free 1 866-698-7355 or email info@oztrekk.com.