Wednesday, November 28th, 2012
The search is over for this year’s budding electrical stars as Australia’s peak electrical industry body the National Electrical and Communications Association (NECA) announced the winners of the 2012 Electrotechnology School Student Awards with secondary school students from Victoria, NSW and West Australia winning the prizes.

The annual awards, which are sponsored by NHP Electrical Engineering Products and showcase the work of the brightest electrotechnology students across Australia, were presented at a ceremony held at Brisbane’s Moda Events Portside on Wednesday 28 November.

Awards were presented in two categories “Innovation” and “Commitment to Industry” and this year students from one school in Melbourne, Catholic Regional College Sydenham, won all the prizes in the “Innovation” category with students from Coffs Harbour and Orange in NSW and Rockingham in WA picking up the prizes in the “Commitment to Industry” category.

NECA’s Chief Executive Officer James Tinslay said, “The standard of entries were very high this year and I would like to congratulate all the winners of the Electrotechnology School Student Awards and to especially praise the Catholic Regional College Sydenham for their remarkable achievement in educating all four winners in the Innovation category.

“I also would like to thank sponsors NHP for their ongoing support. These awards are an excellent opportunity for secondary school students across Australia to gain recognition and be rewarded for their exceptional skills, knowledge and passion in the area of electrotechnology.”

The winners are:

Innovation Category (all students from Catholic Regional College Sydenham)

First prize – Michael Holian – Electronic Hydroponic System

The project consisted of a light provisioned, temperature controlled, hydroponic growth bed with solar generation capability. The system substantially reduces the amount of growth time needed for most plants. By using solar power the project is carbon positive as the plants being grown are actually offsetting more carbon than the system is putting into the atmosphere. The judges described Michael’s project as containing “a lot of different elements showcased in terrific detail”.

Second prize – Anton Cuschieri – Bomb Disposal Robot

The project is a fully operational computer controlled bomb disposal robot which incorporates a four axis robotic arm, a camera, sensors and a lighting system. It is designed to be able to travel over rough terrain and to be remotely operated by the user. The judges described Anton’s project as having “very good attention to detail and good understanding of technical principles”.

Joint third prize – Manasi Vazirani – Airport Guiding Lights

The project consisted of the design and manufacture of a miniature model airport complete with runway lights controlled by an electronic wind sock to indicate which way the planes should take-off and land. The judges described Manasi’s project as a “great innovative idea, taking into account the many different aspects of an airport”.

Joint third prize – Benjamin Di Mieri – Automated Pool Table

The project consisted of a fully automated pool table which features an electronic ball return system and motorised legs to adjust the height of the table. The judges praised the project as containing a “great deal of effort and a great level of detail”.

Commitment to Industry category

First prize – Thomas Shilling – Orara High, Coffs Harbour, NSW

Thomas has demonstrated a great desire to embark on a career in electrotechnology. He has been attending TAFE and undertaking work at Coffs Harbour City Council Water, Electrical/Mechanical group as part of his VET school based traineeship. He has completed his Certificate II in Electrotechnology. The judges describe Thomas as “a very talented and academic individual who has shown an exceptional amount of perseverance and commitment to his desired career path”.

Second prize – Jacob Humphris – Orange Christian School, NSW

Jacob has been studying Electrotechnology at TAFE in Year 11 and 12 and has carried out high quality work. He took part in the Regional World Skills competition which he won and did well at the State competition. He has also successfully completed work experience placements at Blayney Electrical, Cisco Electrical and Essential Energy. The judges describe Jacob as showing “a great deal of promise, with strong technical ability”.

Third prize – Lochlan Nelson – Living Waters Lutheran College, Rockingham WA

Lochlan is currently studying Certificate II Electrotechnology at the Challenger Institute of Technology and is carrying out work experience with McGlasson’s Electrical Refrigeration and Gas. He has also carried out work experience at a Royal Australian Navy helicopter support facility. The judges describe Lochlan as making a “good effort of securing work experience and integrating into industry”.

The winners received cash prizes of up to $1000 with the overall winners in each category receiving a travel allowance for themselves and a guardian to attend the event.


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Peter Scott - Media and Communications Manager

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NECA, National Electrical and Communications Association, schools



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