Engineers Australia student member Andrew Burton saw an opportunity to collaborate with engineering graduates across the country to showcase their robotics work and learn from each other. We spoke to him about the inaugural MechMeet event and the importance of connecting with graduates, professionals and peers.
Can you tell us more about this event?
MechMeet provided Engineers Australia student members the chance to view presentations for two innovative mechatronic projects and engage with the presenters.
This all began when I came across a random YouTube video that I found intriguing. I soon realised the students responsible for this incredible project were Australian and based in Melbourne. I tracked them down on LinkedIn and got in touch.
This entirely new format was conducted in person, with a live stream between Edith Cowan University and Monash University. The interactive meet-up explored advanced engineering principals, but more importantly delved into the challenges encountered during development.
The format for MechMeet was tailored to provide each university's respective team with a chance to present on their mechatronic project in depth, focusing on problems they faced and how they overcame them.
Why do you think it is important to share knowledge and engineering projects? And what are the benefits of this?
As a student there is so much information to take in and it doesn’t stop. Progressing through an engineering degree is no small task. So at least in my mind, it is important to take any help and assistance you can in developing your skills and gaining knowledge as efficiently as possible. What a great way to do it by connecting with graduates, professionals and your peers. Personally, I don’t think I’d be in the position I am now academically and professionally if I wasn’t following this basic principle, and I always encourage and advocate for others to do the same.
Engineering projects whether at university or in the workplace, will always involve teamwork and collaboration. Being proficient at communicating and having a desire and willingness to share information and knowledge is a valuable quality. MechMeet provided a great platform for students to hone these skills.
What were the outcomes of this event and what did the group learn from this collaboration?
There are so many universities across Australia (and abroad) with their own identity and approach to engineering education. Varied resources, diverse perspectives and even specific curricular focus separate us. Bringing together students from different universities provides the opportunity to amalgamate ideas, creativity and innovation, which is of immense value.
The post event feedback we received for MechMeet was extremely positive. Almost immediately following the event there were ideas being discussed for the next one. We hope to make this a bi-annual event and collaborate with other universities.