06 November 2014 Volume :2 Issue :56

Innovative Projects at Mechanical Engineering Open Day

Innovative Projects at Mechanical Engineering Open Day
A Flying Car, designed by Mr Kevlin Govender, Mr St John Darryl Nelson, Mr Euvenptheran Naidoo and Mr Erlank Slabbert, won the hotly contested Peer Prize at the UKZN Mechanical Engineering Open Day.

UKZN’s School of Engineering building and car park were abuzz with activity when final year Mechanical Engineering students showcased projects they created through hard work and creative thinking.

It was Mechanical Engineering Open Day - always an eagerly anticipated annual event on the University’s calendar.

The Design and Research Project module requires fourth year students to work in groups of three to four on a given mechanical engineering problem.  They have the year to come up with a practical and innovative solution.

‘These projects simulate a professional working environment in which students have to apply Engineering knowledge gained during their studies to achieve specified project objectives while keeping within predetermined budgets,’ said academic leader for Mechanical Engineering, Professor Glen Bright.

Assessment of the projects is structured in accordance with the Engineering outcomes required by the Engineering Council of South Africa (ECSA).

‘The focus of this Open Day was to highlight the hard work and technical achievements of our final-year students,’ said Bright.   Altogether 21 projects involving 76 students were wheeled out for public consumption. 

Projects ranged from designing a hybrid rocket propulsion system, to an automated beer production system, a hydropower plant, an off-road vehicle for game reserves, a green building, a 3-D metal laminate printer, a flying car, and a solar car.  

Overcoming stiff competition, Mr Nirish Brijnath, Mr Curtis Louw, Mr Dylan Morford and Mr Hloniphani Ntuli won the Autodesk Engineering Prize for their project on Electromagnetic forming of Meso-Scale Features in Thin Metal Foils. 

The UKZN Solar Car with a student team comprising Mr Damien Raghubeer, Mr Saien Rugdeo, Mr Peter Sinclair, Mr Shuvay Singh, Mr Nicholas Witteveen and Mr Matthew Woods, won Best Project in Category 1. 

Best Project in Category 2 went to Mr Creason Chetty and Mr Chikhar Maharaj for their innovative Hybrid Rocket Propulsion System.

The Best Industrial Project was a Sugar Store Valve designed by Mr Innocent Khumalo, Mr Menzi Mgenge and Mr Siphsethu Khuzwayo; whilst the Flying Car, designed by Mr Kevlin Govender, Mr St John Darryl Nelson, Mr Euvenptheran Naidoo and Mr Erlank Slabbert won the hotly contested Peer Prize.

As the exciting and innovative afternoon came to an end, Bright declared Mechanical Engineering Open Day 2014 a resounding success.

Sally Frost

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