Find out how we work with industry and the opportunities available for you to collaborate with us.
The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering is passionate about – and our research is often directly applicable to – real-world problems, and we engage regularly with individuals and companies representing New Zealand industries. Some of our regular collaborators and sponsors include Fisher & Paykel, Power by Proxi (now Apple), MYOB, Deloitte, and more. The following details the common ways we collaborate with industry.
Part IV Projects
Part IV Projects are the culmination of our Engineering degree and mark an important milestone for our students. They involve students working in pairs under the supervision of an academic staff for around six months, typically from March to September. Projects tend to involve research and design work in varying degrees.
Proposing a project
By proposing a project, you gain the opportunity to have a pair of students work on your project, under guidance by an academic staff member. Our industry sponsors typically provide the requirements, clarifications and overall direction to project outcomes.
If the project requires specialist hardware or software not normally available at the University, the industry sponsor is expected to provide these. We request a $2,000 koha to cover the costs associated with hosting a project such as facilities, software, hardware, academic supervision, seminars, posters and demos at the exhibition.
IP is shared as outlined in the agreement, which will be shared with you once a proposal is received. You can also negotiate for IP rights which will require setting up a contract with Uniservices with a different cost structure.
Who can propose a project
Industry representatives wanting to sponsor a Part IV Project can directly submit a proposal. Staff and students who have contacts in the industry willing to sponsor their project can also submit a proposal after finalising it with their industry contacts.
Proposals are welcome from November of the previous year up to early February of the same year (e.g. from Nov 2017 to early Feb 2018 for 2018 projects).
Sponsor a Best Project Prize in a Category
Another way to get involved with Part IV Projects is to sponsor a Best Project Prize in a category. The projects are divided into several categories, such as: Power Systems, Embedded Systems, Software Applications, Artificial Intelligence, Games and Educational Aids, and more.
Category sponsors will have naming rights to the Best Project Prize in their category (e.g. "Best Project Prize in Games and Educational Aids Sponsored by <Company Name>"). They will also have their company logo featured on the Exhibition Day advertisement brochures, on digital boards around our Newmarket campus on Exhibition Day, and during the prize giving ceremony on the large screens.
As a category sponsor, you and your colleagues are invited txhibition Day, typically held around end of September, to judge the projects in your category and select a winner. During the prize-giving ceremony later that evening, you will present the prize to the students of the winning project. Project sponsorship costs $400-500, which is the prize money given out to the winning team in your category.
If you are interested in sponsoring a Best Project prize, contact Dr Abhisek Ukil.
Propose an engineering project
You can also propose a project in one of our department's courses. The following details what's currently available, though you can also reach us via our Faculty of Engineering Employee Liaison Manager, Jonathan Culley.
SOFTENG 761: Agile and Lean Software Development
- Structure: SOFTENG SOFTENG 761 offers the opportunity to propose a project which is completed by a team of 7-8 students over roughly 6-7 weeks, following agile and lean software development practices.
- Timing: SOFTENG 761 runs in the second semester, starting around July but proposals are due by late May.
- Role of industry: Your role will be that of the project customer (or Product Owner in Agile terminology), providing requirements, prioritisation, clarifications, and feedback on emerging software functionality. Prior experience with agile and lean practices is preferred but is not a must.
- Expected outcomes: The project results in a working software prototype. Since its launch in 2013, SOFTENG 761 has had 250+ students successfully deliver 36 projects for industry partners, including Deloitte, Datacom, Orion Health, Fiserv, MYOB, and more.
Proposal submission: May-June every year via online form when made availabe.
Engaging with staff research
Many of our staff work with industry on collaborative research and development projects. Some mechanisms to support these collaborative projects include Callaghan funding, MBIE grants, and the National Science Challenge projects.
Projects can be small – running over few months – to large-scale, spanning multiple years. To initiate any collaborations, you can view our staff profiles and contact them directly.
Our Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) students are required to complete 800 hours of professional work during the summer breaks at the end of Parts II and III. Many chose to do this in local companies. Find out more about this core component of our degree.
If you would like to know more or be included in our employer listings for this particular course of study or host an internship in general, please contact our faculty's Employer Liaison Manager, Jonathan Culley.