THIESS Pty Ltd and BHP Billiton have teamed up in a $250,000 partnership to support a design competition for first year engineering students.
The 2008 Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge launched today (November 30) is a national design competition for a sustainable development project.
Working in teams of four to six, the students will design solutions for actual sustainable development projects that support EWB’s work with disadvantaged and developing communities.
The projects range from water supply and quality to sanitation, waste management, energy supply, flood mitigation and infrastructure development.
A total of $6000 in prize money is on offer with the winning team to receive $3000.
The winners are invited to join EWB for a four week community development study tour in Cambodia’s Kandal Province where only 29.3% of households have safe drinking water and 3.6% have electricity.
Thiess Executive General Manager Human Resources & Safety Mike Connell said that by sponsoring the EWB Challenge, Thiess encourages young engineering students to gain valuable experiences as well as understand the broad career and geographical opportunities available to engineers.
“Thiess is now represented in Australia, Indonesia and India and has a long history of providing engineering students with scholarships and opportunities for involvement in worthwhile projects,” Connell said.
Connell said competitions like the EWB Challenge also support the company’s recruiting programs in which graduates are offered the opportunity to work in other cultures and markets.
BHP Billiton Vice President of Community Relations Ian Wood said BHP Billiton is proud to support the 2008 EWB Challenge as part of the company’s commitment towards sustainable community development.
“The EWB Challenge not only provides valuable, practical experience to engineering students who represent the future of BHP Billiton, but it also provides long-term, sustainable investment that helps build the capacity and improve the livelihoods of communities all over the world,” he said.
EWB Education Director Lizzie Webb said the competition, now in its second year, is an education initiative that inspires and motivates students by connecting them with real projects that will contribute towards the sustainable development of disadvantaged communities in the Asia-Pacific region and Australia.
“Many students have been motivated by the knowledge that their work may assist a disadvantaged community. Students said the EWB Challenge sharpened their senses about sustainable development and gave a sense of purpose and meaning to their education,” she said.
This year’s 2007 winners will be announced at an awards ceremony held at the 21st annual conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education at the University of Melbourne on 11 December.
Thiess Pty Ltd