A USP engineering student talks about his project while students from Jai Narayan College listen on.
The University of the South Pacific’s (USP) School of Engineering (SEP) held its Annual Engineering Day at the Laucala Campus on 17 October 2018.
A total of twenty-four (24) projects were displayed by students undertaking programmes including Bachelor of Engineering (Electrical and Electronics) and Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical), which were showcased to industry stakeholders as well as secondary school students from some schools in Suva.
The project was part of final year courses in the Engineering programme, EE/MM 388 and EE/MM399.
Professor Maurizio Cirrincione, Head of SEP said that the day was a successful one with the presence of industry partners who commended the school for hosting such an event, and applauded the students for their innovations.
Professor Cirrincione also explained that some representatives from the industries have approached the students for further collaboration.
As an accredited school, it is necessary that SEP develop a real industrial environment and projects/research.
The final year project tries to train students to autonomously develop projects that have some variables for research purposes.
Of particular interest was the need to explore innovations in the areas of electrical vehicles, so Professor Cirrincione explained that the School started with a unified framework of research and applications in this area.
“We have experienced quite a bit of difficulty in getting some materials for projects from international markets. For instance, ordering things online took more time than usual, because of the remote location which surpassed project deadlines,” he said.
However, Professor Cirrincione said that students should be proud of themselves for producing excellent project outcomes at the international level, despite the challenges.
The Head of School mentioned that the School will be introducing the Civil Engineering programme from next year, which will follow a similar Project concept in the final year of the programme.
Senimili Banivanua, Year 11 student of Jai Narayan College, who visited SEP as part of the Engineering Day said that the displays broadened their theoretical knowledge.
“We can relate to the projects with the textbooks in school and this could actually help us in the long run,” she said.
Senimili, who aspires to be an Engineer, said that the projects enabled her to understand the concepts learnt in school which will contribute to her understanding of the basic secondary school knowledge.
She advised students at her school to make the most of similar opportunities provided by USP.
Mr Janesh Adhar, Head of Department of Industrial Arts at Jai Narayan College said that their visit to SEP’s Engineering Day gave an exposure to the students in coming out from the normal classroom work.
Mr Adhar further stated that it was interesting for them to see how knowledge from the many subjects taught in secondary school filters into the Engineering field; including, Physics, Applied Technology and Industrial Arts, and added that all these subjects play a critical role.
Such experiences, he noted, will assist students in choosing the career paths they would like to take up in future.
He also pointed out that the kind of projects that the Engineering students came up with was similar to the ones in the industry which allowed for enhanced understanding by his school students.
Mr Adhar thanked SEP for the invitation, adding that they counted themselves lucky to be part of the day, as this was their first visit to the Engineering Day.
The Head of Department strongly advocated for gender equality in technology-related subject areas, and said that the student group, which comprised Industrial Arts, Physics and Computer students of Year 11 had majority of females.
The Engineering Projects Day is in its fourth year of implementation, in line with the fully fledged four-year Engineering programme in Electrical/Electronic and Mechanical which started in 2014 and which is accredited by New Zealand Engineers within the Washington Accord.
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