The final word from our BE(Hons) cohort

How can we coordinate effective search and rescue operations during an emergency in a hazardous mine? What alternatives to very high frequency radio can we adopt for better tracking of animal behaviour leading to more sustainable ecosystems? How can web developers build applications that cater for both server and client?

A group of five men stand with a certificate
Hamish Clark, centre, with SECS and WellingtonNZ staff after being presented with the Best Industry Project award.

These were some of the issues that Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) students addressed as part of their project presentations last week.

The fourth year of the BE(Hons) degree includes an engineering project (ENGR489), where students work with a supervisor to develop a solution to a complex engineering problem. Spread over a six-month period, students also get to understand other aspects of the project, including customer specifications, cost analysis, product testing and delivery, and IP protocol, if relevant.

The Wellington Faculty of Engineering collaborates closely with industry on a number of these projects, ensuring that the work is strongly oriented toward addressing real world challenges. As part of the project’s conclusion, students have the opportunity to present their key findings and proposed solutions to an audience that includes staff, students and industry representatives, with around 70 students presenting their projects this year. Cath Randall and Matt Carrere from WellingtonNZ, Bryan Spackman and Shaoib Ali from the Ministry for Primary Industries, and Andrew Ruthven from Catalyst Cloud were among the guests who attended the presentations last week.

New for 2019, the WellingtonNZ award for Best Industry project was presented to Hamish Clark, whose MetVis system uses data visualisations of onboard GPS hardware and passenger boarding data to monitor real-time public transport performance.

Speaking about the presentations, Stuart Marshall, Head, School of Engineering and Computer Science, said, “The Honours projects are a great way for students to not only present their unique understanding of a problem, but to also engage with industry. We’re thankful to all our partners for the support and guidance they offer, and are extremely excited to see WellingtonNZ start to use Hamish’s MetVis app to streamline public transport more effectively.”

The Faculty welcomes suggestions on possible collaborative areas for 2020 projects – please get in touch with Ramesh.Rayudu@vuw.ac.nz.