Friday, 3 April 2015

Touch Football and Electron Density.

Have you ever missed out on selection in a sports team you think you deserved? Have you ever wondered how someone could possibly have made the cut? How many times have you thought the whole process was biased, unfair or vague?

Bec Beath is a touch football superstar and Systems Engineering student at ANU. This year she's out to create a better system for the selection of wingers on a touch football team. Yep, that's engineering. She's using technical tools like a House of Quality, Functional Block Diagrams & Evaluation Matrices, and she'll analyse the requirements, generate TPMs and examine the whole life-cycle of the system.

At this stage, it's hard to tell if she's concerned about the integrity of sports team selection or ensuring that she's the most obvious candidate for the winger position (I'm on to her), but either way it's an awesome example of how applicable Systems Eng is to everything we do and everything we love.

On the other end of the spectrum, my friend Alex is a physics nerd. We all know them. Sometimes I wish I was one, just because geeking out about physics things looks super impressive to everyone else. However, reading his project description reminded me why I don't study physics...

"I'll be measuring the electron density in the ionosphere to calibrate radio astronomical measurements against Faraday rotation by sending radio waves of known polarisation from a 1U cubist through the ionosphere to the MWF in Western Australia".

Hopefully you're all as lost as I am.

When I asked for simple terms, he said: "measuring stuff in the atmosphere from space".

I still don't understand, but hey at least he seems interested in it.

Another friend is looking at ways to solve common engineering problems on a phone or tablet. (I'm definitely annoyed he didn't make an app for this before I started first year). Other projects include the efficiencies of a video store, home water systems, keyboards or an online tutoring system...

Nothing is off limits for us and it will be really cool to see what comes out of all these projects!


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