University of Western Australia: Egg drop challenge a cracking idea for engineering students

Students in the new Bachelor of Engineering program at The University of Western Australia tested their cracking design skills in an egg drop challenge on the top of a lecture theatre.

The students, from the Introduction to Engineering unit, were tasked with designing a device on a limited budget that would prevent their egg from breaking when it hit the ground after being dropped from the Engineering Building.

Associate Professor Marco Ghisalberti, from UWA’s School of Engineering and Ocean Graduates School, led the challenge that encouraged students to explore how things work and then bring their creations to life.

“As new technology emerges, demand for engineering professionals rises,” Associate Professor Ghisalberti said.

“We are trying to ensure that all our students apply the engineering method in their problem solving and decision-making, in designing anything from an egg-protection device to world-leading technology.

“Engineers have a role to play in addressing a wide range of societal challenges, and there is an area for you whatever your passion, from biomedical, civil and mechanical engineering, to environmental, chemical, mining and software engineering.”

The hands-on assignment, designed by lecturer Wesley Moss and overseen by senior lecturer Hongwei An, saw everything ranging from cradles to parachutes used in an attempt to protect the egg as part of the course that teaches design solutions to complex problems.

Professor Tim Sercombe, Dean and Head of the School of Engineering, said engineers often need to get creative to find a suitable solution.

“It is great to see these first-year engineering students coming up with some really creative and diverse solutions to the problem,” he said.

The Engineering course was built on the three core principles: relevance, integration and excellence. It is relevant to the contemporary world of engineering, integrates knowledge, technical capability and practical skills to create graduates ready for the workforce.

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