Tag Archives: College of Engineering

UC engineering students gain top award from National Amateur Radio Association

Two UC engineering students have received awards for attaining the supreme score of 100% in their Amateur Radio exams.

Narottam Royal ZL3NR  and Nazir Ikhtiari ZL3NMI sat their radio exams at the Christchurch Amateur Radio Club earlier this year, having taken part in an intensive weekend course of in radio theory.  Their awards were issued by the New Zealand Amateur Radio Transmitters association, and were presented by the club president Ian MacPherson, and Fred Samandari, director of the  UC Wireless Research Centre .

Narottam Royal ZL3NR receives badge from club president Ian McPherson
Fred Samandari awards badge to Nazir Ikhtiari ZL3NMI

The Christchurch club holds HamCram courses four times a year, and is open to anyone interested in becoming a amateur radio operator. More information on future courses can be found at:



Commissioning of CNRE Fire Lab: 15 – 17 October

From Monday through to Wednesday next week (15-17 October), there will be a number of burns conducted in the Civil and Natural Resources Engineering (CNRE) Fire Lab to commission the Emissions Control Unit (ECU).

It’s anticipated that on Tuesday and Wednesday specifically, as a result of the activities taking place, visible smoke and odour will be produced.

Facilities Management, UC Security and the New Zealand Fire Service have been notified.

Should you notice anything over these dates you believe unrelated to the above, please report it through your usual channels.

For any other questions or concerns, please email the College of Engineering>

Sustainability Framework series: Teaching and Learning

In February 2018, UC adopted a Sustainability Framework, which establishes the approach UC will take to meet its environmental commitments and to incorporate sustainability concepts into decision making at all levels.

The Framework covers approaches to teaching, learning and research, operations, and partnerships for sustainability. In a four part blog series, the UC Sustainability Office is exploring stories of where and how the Framework is contributing to the University’s sustainability journey.

Part one: Teaching and Learning

What do all undergraduate students of ENGR101 have in common? The beginnings of an in-depth understanding of sustainability. The Sustainability Office recently met with Dr Alex Yip, Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Process Engineering, and Assistant Course Coordinator for ENGR101 to discuss how sustainability fits into their courses, and has become a key learning outcome of the paper, Foundations of Engineering.

We met Alex shortly after undergraduate students participated in their dedicated sustainability lecture presented by Professor Peter Gostomski, and attended a two hour follow-up workshop.

Here’s what we learnt:

  • Understanding sustainability as a concept, and being able to comment on and identify sustainability issues is a key learning outcome of ENGR 101.
  • Why? It’s explored in the sense of gaining global awareness and engaging with the community outside of the classroom environment.
  • ENGR101 touches on concepts, definitions, and case studies to develop critical thinking on sustainability issues.
  • Sustainability is far more than just a buzz word for engineers – as they are involved in everything from resource use and extraction through to technology and product design, it is essential engineering students are fully engaged with sustainability concepts through all levels of study.
  • The professional body Engineering NZ expects engineering graduates to be confident and capable of thinking critically about sustainability issues.

Alex speaks to the huge variety of fields and research areas on offer at UC, the majority of which hold sustainability at their core. From Chemical and Process Engineering to Global Humanitarian Engineering, and initiatives such as Engineers without Borders and the Shell Eco Marathon, the scope of teaching and learning around sustainability in engineering at UC seems endless.

IUTAM developments – from climate change to unmanned aircraft vehicles

Exciting developments – ranging from climate change to unmanned aircraft vehicles – have emerged from the highly successful International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mathematics (IUTAM) symposium.

Symposium chairs Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt and Associate Professor Mathieu Sellier, of UC’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, are delighted at how well the symposium– which UC hosted earlier this year– served as a vehicle for sharing new ideas and expanding the reach of UC by showcasing its expertise in engineering and applied mathematics.

Dr Stefanie Gutschmidt is pictured here with Prof Pankaj Wahi from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur – India.

One of many exciting outcomes is a new collaboration between UC and Florida State University that could help unlock new perspectives on ice melt and climate change.

Following the symposium, Dr James Hewett, symposium secretary, and  Associate Professor Sellier have initiated a collaboration with Professor Nick Moore, a mathematician at Florida State University, to better understand pattern formation during the melting of ice.

“This is particularly important as a way to better quantify ice mass balance in polar regions and to inform climate change models,” says Associate Professor Sellier.

Other fascinating topics covered at the symposium, the first international meeting hosted in UC’s new Engineering Core, included:

  • using ocean waves to predict and identify passing ships
  • how the flapping of birds’ wings generates forward motion
  • using numerical simulations to better understand insect flight for biomimetic unmanned aircraft vehicles.

The symposium was supported by the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, UC and Comsol Multiphysics.

Congratulations to Jennifer Brown

Congratulations to Jennifer Brown who has been awarded the prestigious Senior Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy.

We asked Jennifer to share her response to receiving the good news.

Q: What is the Fellowship and why is it important?
A: The Fellowship is to a UK-based organisation called the Higher Education Academy that operates around the world. Their goal is to champion teaching excellence and their focus is on the contribution of teaching to student’s learning experience, a view that is very much in line with our School’s values.

Q: How did it come about?
A: I was awarded Senior Fellowship; this level is for fellows who can demonstrate “a thorough understanding of effective approaches to teaching and learning support as a key contribution to high quality student learning”. For me it is a bit more personal than that! It recognises the great work we have done in the School in placing teaching, and more importantly, student learning, at the centre of what we do.

Q: What does it mean to you to receive this?
A: Our School has a really big impact on student experience at UC – our student numbers alone are the reason for this (about half the UC students are taught by our School at some stage in their time at UC). Our School understands the responsibility we have to the UC community, and we want all students to have a really positive learning experience. What a positive learning experience means will be different for each student and probably if I asked the staff I would get 45 different answers too.  I think I can capture all their views in two words – student success. Student success means more than passing courses while at UC, it means success for life ahead, and equipping students with the knowledge and skills to contribute fully in whatever they do.

Bringing it back to what does this mean for me and why was I recognised – I see my role as the facilitator of a very positive, adaptive and committed School. My role is to communicate the vision we have as a School, to staff in the School and to others outside.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?
A: I was invited to apply for the Senior Fellowship and very pleased to have been awarded it. It did involve a lot of hard work in pulling together my portfolio but there was a great team at UC to help (big shout out to Erik Brogt and Eleri Nugent). On reflection, the hard work paid off, and there is a certain sweetness about success after hard work. If success came too easily how would you recognise it?