The Warman® Design and Build competition, established by Engineers Australia and sponsored by Weir Minerals, has been providing second year Mechanical Engineering University students in the Asia Pacific region with the platform to apply their knowledge in a practical application for 30 years.

Weir WarmanWeir Minerals has been the proud sponsor since the competition’s inception and is committed to supporting the Warman® Design and Build competition to inspire the next generation of innovators.

Weir Minerals Asia Pacific regional managing director Terese Withington said, “It has been a privilege to sponsor and support this forward thinking competition for the last 30 years.

“The future success of Weir Minerals and the industries we serve depends upon the stream of talented engineers entering the field. As an industry leader, advancing STEM education is of critical importance to us and something we will continue to support and invest in the graduates of the future.”

Set on a fictional planet, Gondwana, students are tasked with building an autonomous machine that solves a different task every year. From brainstorming of ideas and building prototypes, through to showcasing the final models, this comprehensive competition gives competing students real insight into the engineering design process.

“During this competition students are introduced to testing, development, project management, resource management and fabrication, which all help shape the future of their engineering career,” states Weir Minerals Asia Pacific Engineering and Product Development director Evert Lessing.

To celebrate the 30 year anniversary, the competition will be hosted in a symbolic venue from Friday, October 13 to Sunday, October 15. The finals will take place in The Powerhouse Museum in Sydney with key members of the media invited to report live from the finals, and a few surprises will be revealed on the day.

“Thirty years is a significant milestone, and as a result, we have worked with Engineers Australia to help make this occasion even bigger and better,” said Evert Lessing.

This year, Shandong University in China will take part in the competition, which is the first time a Chinese university has competed.

“We are thrilled to welcome Shandong University into the competition and are confident this competition will continue to expand throughout the region for years to come. It truly is an educational competition for the entire Asia Pacific region,” said Terese Withington.

With a worldwide reputation for developing and manufacturing industry leading Warman® slurry pumps, Weir Minerals will take finalists on a guided tour of its regional head office and manufacturing facility in Artarmon, New South Wales. Students will get up close and personal with the legendary Warman® slurry pumps and discover the intricate detail behind its leading technology.

Over the years, the competition has witnessed outstanding prototypes, commendable collaboration and has grown in popularity. When the competition first started in 1988, only mechanical energy was used to create the competing prototypes, and this was the case up until 1996 when small electric motors became commonplace. The competition has continued to move with the times, allowing the use of microprocessors and mechatronic principles in the mid-2000s when this technology became available.

“It’s astounding to see how this competition has grown, from solely mechanical prototypes through to the present day with an array of mechatronics readily available. As technology has evolved, so has the parameters of this competition and we can’t wait to see what the next 30 years will bring,” said Evert Lessing.

Weir Minerals is very proud to be a part of this reputable academic competition and would like to thank every university that has taken part over the last 30 years - the competition wouldn’t be where it is today without their ongoing support and participation.

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