Issue 10
Monday, 02 December 2019
Charles Darwin University
E-news
From left: Susi Bertei, Leonie Richards, Kiki Finnigan and Emily Goodale. Image: Engineers Without Borders
From left: Susi Bertei, Leonie Richards, Kiki Finnigan and Emily Goodale. Image: Engineers Without Borders

Student whirligig wows judges

By Patrick Nelson

Three CDU students who combined their creative talents to address a communal health issue have won an award at the World Engineers Convention in Melbourne.

Kiki Finnigan (IT), Leonie Richards (Exercise and Sports Science) and Amy Martin (Humanitarian and Community Studies) won the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) WaterAid Timor-Leste Community Focus Award for their Whirligig Dryer and Personalised Store and Wash Container.

College of Engineering, IT and Environment Engineering Foundations Lecturer Susi Bertei said the winning design was recognised as being immediately useful to the target community, Suco Holarua, in the Manufahi district of Timor-Leste.

“Their task was to figure out how to hygienically and discreetly wash and dry reusable sanitary products in a manner that was consistent with cultural and traditional customs, which was affordable, practical and environmentally sound,” Ms Bertei said.

“They were a cross-disciplinary team whose different perspectives allowed them to develop a better package. It was an excellent effort against 26 other university teams.”

Ms Bertei said all three were enrolled in the Design and Innovation: Communicating Technology unit and had participated in the EWB Challenge as part of their coursework.

The EWB Challenge is a program that enables academic partners to engage students in human-centred engineering, teamwork and communication, and expose students to different perspectives through sustainable, cross-cultural development projects.