Students from The University of Western Australia have won the Engineers without Borders Australia National Engineering Challenge with their design for a mosquito trap made from waste plastic bottles for the community of Codo in East Timor.
The EWB Challenge is an annual design program for first-year University students coordinated by Engineers without Borders Australia (EWB) and delivered in partnership with Australasian universities.
This year, students were invited to create an innovative sustainable project solution to support communities in the town of Codo in East Timor.
UWA's champion team included Anthony Soh, James Kercock, Jordan Ribbons, Kevin Lu and Rowan Withers, who chose to address the issue of waste management. By using plastic bottles to engineer a mosquito trap their design aimed to reduce waste and malaria problems and promote recycling.
Design solutions were judged on their technical feasibility along with their appropriateness to the environmental, social and economic context.
The top teams in each region presented their work at the National EWB Challenge Showcase held on 3 December 2013 at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.
The EWB Challenge is part of UWA's foundation engineering unit, ‘Introduction to Professional Engineering: Global Challenges in Engineering' which encourages students to develop an awareness and understanding of significant engineering challenges that exist in local and global contexts.
Dr Rita Armstrong, from UWA's School of Environmental Systems Engineering, coordinates the ‘Global Challenges in Engineering' foundation unit in UWA's Engineering Science major.
"This engineering challenge is a great opportunity for students to learn about design, teamwork and communication through real life development projects which address issues of justice and equality," Dr Armstrong said.
UWA students have won the EWB Challenge four times in the past five years.
In 2012 Plan TL and Engineers Without Borders Australia collaborated extensively to identify a range of areas for growth within the district of Lautém that will have broader implications for not only the children, but the community as a whole.
Students were invited to develop innovative and appropriate project solutions for those areas and as such make a real contribution towards the sustainable development of the town of Codo in Timor Leste.
Dr Rita Armstrong (UWA School of Environmental Systems) (+61 8) 6488 2537
Clara Dodman (Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Mathematics) (+61 8) 6488 5079
David Stacey (UWA Public Affairs) (+61 8) 6488 3229 / (+61 4) 32 637 716