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Student whirligig wows judges

Kiki Finnigan (IT), Leonie Richards (Exercise and Sports Science) and Amy Martin (Humanitarian and Community Studies) won the Engineers Without Borders (EWB) WaterAid Community Focus Award
From left: Susi BerteiN1, Leonie RichardsN2, Kiki Finnigan and Emily GoodaleN3. Image: Engineers Without Borders

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 Community Focus Award 2019 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 individually 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.

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