Mini balsawood catapults engineered by eager USC Sunshine Coast students flung table tennis balls as far as 6.3 metres recently, in a battle royale known as the Knights of the Round Catapult Challenge.
Engineering students in the subject Mechanical Design had to design, build and test remotely triggered devices that could throw the balls over a 60cm-high barrier at targets. They could only use the supplied construction materials of wood sections, string and glue.
Overall points victory went to Team Austria, which included three students from Austria and two from the Sunshine Coast. In second place was Team Engineers and in third place was Top Models, which also won the category for lightest device at 27.4 grams.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Selvan Pather said only a few points separated the three top teams. In addition, the Silver Panthers recorded the furthest throw at 6.3 metres.
Dr Pather said he was also impressed with the student teams’ skills in fulfilling the brief to design and fabricate models of full-size torches for a hypothetical Southeast Queensland Olympic Games.
Dr Pather has designed a new Mechatronic Engineering degree to start next year at USC Moreton Bay.
The Bachelor of Engineering (Mechatronic) (Honours) focuses on the technology behind every remote-controlled garage door, self-parking car and automated production system – a blend of electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computing and the systems that control them.
Applications are still open to study at USC, including USC Moreton Bay, in 2020. Go to www.usc.edu.au/learn for details.
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