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Local Industry Applauds USP’s Final Year Engineering Project

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(From L-R): Mr Izzal Sheikh, Peni Jitoko with UAV flight control system, Dr Utkal Mehta, Mr Kevin Rotsaert and Epeli Kama at Skyward Industries.

Two students from The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Engineering and Physics (SEP) received a project from a prominent company to work on under the supervision of Senior Lecturer Dr Utkal Mehta.

Peni Jitoko and Epeli Kamahave received a project from Nadi-based Skyward Industry’s Research and Development Department to work on the development of the quad-copter UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) with flight control that will successfully return to home base under fail-safe conditions and perform precision landing on a moving platform autonomously.

After several months of hard work and various meetings with Skyward staff, success in developing the system was achieved. A live demonstration was also performed and both University Professors and Skyward Industries were very impressed with this accomplishment.

Developing such systems require intensive research, development and testing to ensure that the product is of the required quality.

Mr Kevin Rotsaert, Chief Executive Officer of Skyward Industries Limited, said that it was a great pleasure to work with Dr Mehta’s team and acknowledged SEP for facilitating such a project.

“We truly believe such projects are the way forward in creating students that are more qualified and ready for immediate integration into the industry through real world applications and problems,” Mr Kevin said.

He added that such projects require intricate electrical and small power management systems, UAV flight control systems, programming of various kinds, research and development, complete assembly, testing and deployment.

Peni Jitoko, who is a final year Bachelor of Engineering student, said that he felt proud of the achievement by the project team, having started from scratch and working through many obstacles to achieve the project goals.

Another student, Epeli Kama said that during the project they gained a lot of knowledge on the application of basic concepts while writing codes and using microprocessors which has further broadened their knowledge and understanding of the new system applications.

Professor Maurizio Cirrincione, Head of SEP highlighted that successful associations with industries will bring good news to students intending to undertake Engineering studies at USP.

According to Dr Anjeela Jokhan, Dean of the Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment, the Bachelor of Engineering programmes are fully accredited by the Institution of Professional Engineers of New Zealand, which she added, is a significant achievement.

Skyward Industries is currently reviewing the two students’ job applications and will most likely accept one of them for a full-time job in early 2017.   

This news item was published on 19 Dec 2016 09:40:38 am. For more information or any High-Res Images, please contact us on email

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