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The Engineering Link Project

The Engineering Link Project

Author: Gay Ellyett
Author Role: Coordinator Exceptional Scientists' Program

"Sophia Greenwood, Darcy Doyle and I attended a project run by Engineering Link on Saturday 27 March for students who were interested in engineering, are possibly going to pursue engineering as a career or even have no idea what engineering is. I am keen on engineering and believe I am likely to pursue it as a career. However, I was at a loss as to which branch of engineering might best suit me. This project was the ideal solution to further my exploration. Throughout the day, I attended lectures and participated in activities surrounding two branches of engineering: medical and structural.

Firstly, the medical engineering activities focused on determining which material’s properties were ideal for the situation, such as crutches need to be made of a strong but light material that can hold increased pressure and not bend. Next, a broken skull was modelled using software to locate the injury and accurately model a prototype implant to repair the skull. Overall, the medical engineering course left me fascinated and with a greater understanding of what medical engineers do and how a regular day in the workplace would play out. After this, the participants split off into small groups of four with professional, graduate and student engineers coming around to each group to answer our questions.

Following lunch, the structural engineering task’s aim was to create a wall out of sugar cubes to withhold sand and the pressure of weight applied to the sand. Three sides of a square were formed with concrete blocks while the fourth side was open where the sugar cube wall would sit. However, each box of about 50 sugar cubes cost a certain amount of money. This activity was aimed at creating a sturdy wall to withhold pressure while also being affordable and low cost, simulating a real-life situation that structural engineers might come across.

Overall, I would 100 per cent recommend the day for anyone interested in engineering or keen on science and maths as it was super fun and provided me with engineering experience. Even if you have crossed engineering off your list of possible careers, this project was so interesting and may be of use in directing your career further in the field of science or maths."

Libby Donnan, Year 11