Tawa College's Impressive UC Engineering Graduates

Picture of Sarah Ellix
Tawa College's Impressive UC Engineering Graduates
by Sarah Ellix - Wednesday, 13 April 2016, 5:02 PM

The 2015 cohort of the Canterbury University Engineering Honours programmes will soon attend their graduation ceremony on Tuesday 19th April. Last year as part of the final year programme, they completed cutting-edge research and development projects, sponsored by some of New Zealand’s most interesting companies. Among the class of 2015 were 3 previous students of Tawa College. Mechanical Engineering students Mitchell Patrick and Tony Zhou, and Mechatronics student Jie Fan.

Despite all our technological advances, millions of dollars are still lost every year from birds eating valuable crops. Mitchell’s team designed a robotic “Smart Scarecrow”. This robot was equipped with a sound cannon and other scare strategies, as birds become accustomed to different phenomena over time. The robot needed to be able to autonomously patrol the farm, staying safely on the roads. The team’s robo-scarecrow worked well enough that the industry is continuing on with further development.

Hospital patients are usually quite ill, but they are often also disoriented, or light-headed when they try to stand. Nurses need to be there to help, but often patients try to stand up without calling for help, resulting in falls and injuries. Tony’s research team worked with the Canterbury District Health Board  to develop a system of sensors that can detect when patients try to get up or if they fall out of their beds. The system needed to be low-cost, unobtrusive, and able to signal nurses at the main station in time for them to reach the patient’s room.

The University of Canterbury wishes to congratulate Tony, Mitchell and Jie for their outstanding research contributions, as well as for their hard work during the challenging four-year Engineering Honours programme.

mitchell tony

Mitchell (second in from left on first photo) and Tony (First left on second photo)