Top young Auckland engineers recognised

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From left: Naresh Singhal (ENZ Auckland committee member), Dylan Maurice, UNITEC (winner), Avinash Mistry, MIT (third place), Michelle Delves, University of Auckland (runner-up), David Brierley (ENZ Auckland chair).
From left: Naresh Singhal (ENZ Auckland committee member), Dylan Maurice, UNITEC (winner), Avinash Mistry, MIT (third place), Michelle Delves, University of Auckland (runner-up), David Brierley (ENZ Auckland chair).


Two outstanding young engineers have been recognised by Engineering New Zealand’s Auckland Branch’s GT Murray Award for the best student member presentation on an engineering research or design project.

While engineers possess many of the ideas and skills needed to solve world problems, the GT Murray Award is as much about being able to present ideas clearly as it is demonstrating innovation and ingenuity.

The winner Dylan Maurice, representing UNITEC, wowed the judges and audience with his fascinating presentation on the design of a micro hydro turbine generator to power a self-sufficient leak detection system for water pipes.

His presentation took the audience on a journey through the design and testing of various models of the micro hydro generator. The tiny generator was designed to provide a 100-mA current while minimising the turbine’s impact on flow rate and outlet pressure within the water pipe system.

It was great example of engineering balancing the required power output whilst minimising the impact on the pipe flow. The turbine is used to charge a battery which would continue to supply the electrical current if the flow was to be interrupted by a leak.

Runner-up Michelle Delves inspired the audience with her presentation on “Modelling ventilation and the movement of aerosol-based infectious particles within a room”.

She demonstrated the balance between using a detailed computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation versus a user-friendly simple Python model.

The Python model had been developed to provide quick and accurate low-definition simulations, with visualisations demonstrating flow behaviour of the particles in different scenarios.

Although not as accurate as the CFD model, this was more than compensated for by the increased usability in the field.

Mark Simento, one of the judges, said: “The talent coming through our academic institutions shows so much promise, and it was a privilege to observe and adjudicate three fine young engineers.

“Each represented their institution and themselves with distinction. I wish them all the best for their next stage as engineers!”

Sabrina Naseem, judge and former winner, said of this year’s recipients: “Passion for what they do truly shone through, captivating the audience and leaving a lasting impression”, and that it was “evident that their hard work and dedication to preparing for this presentation paid off.”

Auckland Branch chair and host Dave Brierley said: “The enthusiasm of these young presenters was inspiring. Listening to them gives me confidence in the future of Engineering in New Zealand, and it was really uplifting to see a common theme of efficient engineering solutions running through all the students’ presentations.”

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