UofA team wins Aurecon Sustainability Award in EWB Challenge Showcase

Congratulations to the University of Adelaide students who won the Aurecon Sustainability Award in the 2020 Engineers Without Borders (EWB) Challenge Showcase.

The EWB Challenge Series enables more than 10,000 students each year from universities across Australia and New Zealand to build professional engineering competencies and contribute to social impact through real-world sustainable development projects. The Aurecon Sustainability Award is presented to the team with the design idea that best reflects sustainable development principles.

Maxine Tsoukatos, Aditya Shekhawat - EWB

Maxine Tsoukatos and Aditya Shekhawat

The winning team in 2020 consisted of students across a wide breadth of ECMS degrees:

  • Maxine Tsoukatos, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Chemical) with Bachelor of Finance
  • Jayden Aryan Ryan D'Souza, Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical/Aerospace) with Bachelor of Finance
  • Teresa Kelly, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Mechanical) with Bachelor of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
  • Sam Schultz, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Environmental)
  • Rebecca Shaw, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Civil)
  • Aditya Shekhawat, Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)(Civil).
Jayden Aryan Ryan D'Souza

Jayden Aryan Ryan D'Souza

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the team worked together largely remotely, making their achievement even more remarkable. Congratulations again to our fantastic team!

The project

Road Design to Reduce Environmental Impact:

"From November to April each year, Cape York experiences extreme wet seasons. Given that the majority of Cape York’s roads are unsealed, they are vulnerable to the climate, and thus endure corrosion during rainfall leading to the flooding and closure of roads. There are many adverse impacts surrounding this issue with runoff water polluting local rivers and restricting access being the most harmful.

In the past, the Government has supported solving this problem by sealing roads with bitumen, but this is very expensive to do and also has many negative impacts on the surrounding environment.

Teresa Kelly, Sam Schultz and Rebecca Shaw - EWB

Teresa Kelly, Rebecca Shaw and Sam Schultz

This led us to develop a solution that is affordable, involves National Aboriginal Corporations and reduces the adverse environmental impacts.

Our project focuses on implementing a prototype sediment basin specifically for the Portland Road near Wenlock River, a remote yet severe problem area that the Government has not pledged to improve under the Cape York Region Package.

The objectives we set for our project were keeping the expenses below the cost of bitumen, reducing the volume of sediment in the stormwater, and the seamless integration of any solution into the Country and the community of Cape York."

View the winning presentation

About Engineers Without Borders

Engineers Without Borders (EWB) creates social value through engineering. Through partnerships and collaboration with communities around the world, EWB have focused on developing skills, knowledge and appropriate engineering solutions since 2003. 

The objective of EWB Australia is not only to contribute to new and ongoing development projects, but also to expand the dimensions of experience for engineers and engineering students.

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