Final Year Projects

The Department of Mechancial Engineering runs a highly acclaimed capstone programme. A range of industries and agencies sponsor team projects which run over the whole academic year. General information about final year projects is available here.

The programme is well suited for exploration of sustainability engineering and future planning.

Examples of projects and the sponsors:

  • Prospecting for Industrial Waste Heat (2012):  The team developed the process to perform waste heat assessments on industrial sites. They carried out the assessment for waste heat resources at NZ Steel.

  • Green Energy from Waste Heat (2012): The Heavy Engineering Research Association (HERA), Page & Macrae and Advanced Boiler Systems worked with a team to design and build an organic Rankine cycle (ORC) power generator using the waste heat from a Capstone micro gas turbine.

  • Sustainable Transport for Christchurch (2011): What if you got a "blank slate" to re-design a transportation system using only renewable energy? The team review all electric, biofuel and human powered vehicle technologies for private and public transportation, then re-design the city.

  • Self-Closing Water Tap (2010): The villagers in the Solomon Islands rely on rain water collection systems and springs for drinking water. A major issue identified by a doctor who works there is taps left open when water is drained, then no water collected when it rains or the spring re-charges.

  • Antarctic New Zealand (2009) Sustainability Protocol: Carry out an energy audit of Scott Base field station, model the energy system, analyse the behavioural factors in fuel consumption, design and develop a sustainability protocol to modify visitor and staff behaviour to reduce fuel demand.

  • ClimateMaster (2009) Dairy Waste Heat Recovery: Test and model a waste heat recovery system to use chiller waste heat for pre-heat of washing water.

  • Escea (2009) High Efficiency Gas Fire: Research, design, build and test a combustion gas heat exchanger to bring the decorative gas fire into compliance for high efficiency standards.

  • Windflow Technology (2009) Vibration Sensor: Research and development of a vibration sensor for wind towers.

  • Mighty River Power (2009) Geothermal Technology: Technology review and modelling of low temperature power cycles and equipment.

  • MainPower (2009-10) Solar Thermal Design and Deliver: Design and build a stand-alone solar hot water plant that can be mass produced and deployed in neighbourhoods, on farms, at hotels, and factories.

  • Holcim Cement (2008) Carbon Footprint Action: Biological CO2 capture by algae pond agriculture - concept generation and feasibility analysis.

  • Sustainable Habitat Challenge (2008): Sustainable housing design for Christchurch house to be constructed in 2009.

  • Habitat for Humanity (2008) Low Energy Home Design: Thermal and energy modelling, optimisation and design specifications for long-term low energy consumption.

  • BEACON (2006) Sustainable Housing: A study of retrofitting old, un-insulated homes in Christchurch. Development of website design to increase energy efficiency retrofits. – Winner of the ESR Sustainable Engineering Award.

  • Holcim Cement NZ (2005) Waste to Energy: Logistics study of collection, transport and storage of used tyres for disposal in the Westport kiln. Design on on-site conveyor and injection device.

  • WhisperTech Ltd. (2005) Educational Stirling Engine: Design, development and market assessment for demonstration Stirling generator.

  • Meridian Energy (2004) Sustainable Transport: Technology review of alternative vehicle and fuel technologies. Study of world oil supply and New Zealand's position.

  • CRL Energy Ltd. (2004) Biofuel Generator Conversion: Engine model for conversion of stationary diesel generators.

  • ITN Energy Systems (2004) Solid Oxide Fuel Cells Manufacturing: Thin film electrolyte materials.

  • Nature’s Flame Renewable Fuels (2004) Healthy Home Heating: Logistics study for uptake and supply of wood pellet fires in Christchurch. Experimental study of performance and cost in an old, uninsulated home.

  • Ball Aerospace & Technology (2003) DMFC: Gravity independent gas-liquid separation device for Direct Methanol Fuel Cells.

  • Temperature Maintenance Ltd. (2003) Heat Pump: Heat exchanger testing and design for Heat Pump water heaters in the Christchurch climate.

  • Windsor Engineering Group Ltd. (2003) Energy Efficiency: Technology modelling for energy efficient wood kilns.

  • ASCO CO2 Ltd. (2002) AFC: Product development of the CDOCS CO2 air scrubber for Alkaline Fuel Cells.

  • IRL High Temperature Superconductors (2002): Manufacture of energy efficient electromagnet coils from advanced materials.

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