The Warman® Design and Build Competition, established by Engineers Australia and sponsored by Weir Minerals, has been providing 1st and 2nd year Mechanical Engineering University students in the Asia Pacific the opportunity to apply their knowledge in a practical application for 30 years.

Weir Minerals has been the proud sponsor of this established competition since its inception, and are committed to supporting the Warman® Design and Build Competition to inspire the next generation of innovators.

“It has been a privilege to sponsor and support this forward thinking competition for many 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,” states Terese Withington, regional managing director for Weir Minerals Asia Pacific.

Competition background

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 Evert Lessing, director of engineering and product development for Weir Minerals Asia Pacific.

30th Year celebrations

To celebrate the 30 year anniversary, the finals competition will be hosted at the iconic Powerhouse Museum from Saturday 14th October through to Sunday 15th October 2017. Key members of the media have been 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,” states 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 this year, 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,” states Therese 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 located in Artarmon, New South Wales, Australia. Students will get up close and personal with the legendary Warman® slurry pumps and discover the intricate detail behind its leading technology.

A trip through the decades

Over the years, the competition has witnessed outstanding prototypes, commendable collaboration and has grown in popularity year-on-year. When the competition first started in 1988, only mechanical energy was used to create the competing prototypes, and this was the case right up until the year 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 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,” says Evert Lessing.

Weir Minerals are 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, this competition wouldn’t be where it is today without their ongoing support and participation.