Acoustic levitation


Project code:  ENG087

In this project you will further develop a device for levitating and translating small particles (polystyrene balls) using an array of ultrasonic speakers. The project can be either experimental or theoretical/numerical and could involve you designing and building your own ultrasonic speakers. You will conduct experiments and/or numerical simulations to optimise the design of the levitation device. 

Supervisor

Mike Kingan
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Structural shape and topology optimisation for fracture strength and fatigue life improvement


Project code: ENG088

One challenge faced by the engineers is to design the lightest weight structure and to simultaneously optimise its resistance against failure. However, the majority of optimisation studies have focused on reducing the peak stress. It must be emphasized that cracks/defects are inevitably present in most structures, and hence the influence of cracks on optimised shapes needs to be investigated. The primary aim of this project is development of methodologies for shape and topology optimisation of damage tolerant structures with strength and durability as the design objectives. The overall outcome of the project will be to enhance performance and reduce likelihood of failures of structures by maximising their residual strength and fatigue life.

Skills:

Solid Mechanics, Finite element method

Supervisor

Raj Das
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Understanding biomimetic adhesion


Project code: ENG089

The possibility of strong yet easily and quickly released adhesion to almost any surface, without using glue, suction, etc., has obvious potential for a multitude of applications. Recent research into biomimetic approaches has been inspired by the ability of geckos and several species of insects including flies, beetles and spiders to move easily on steep surfaces, whether rough or smooth as glass. It has been established that they rely on the weak intermolecular attraction generated by van der Waals forces. These forces are very short ranged (order of nanometres), so the surfaces must be very close to each other for them to adhere. To achieve this, the adhesive surface structure must be sufficiently flexible, but for good performance it must also be brought to bear on the target surface in the correct way. While bio-inspired dry adhesive structures have been developed by various researchers, most of them have focused on adhesion to hard flat surfaces such as glass, and little work has been done on the softer, rougher surfaces characteristic of biological products.  The goal of this project is to study the mechanics of fibrillar structure adhesion and detachment through modelling and experimentation. The depth and scope of the project can be tailored to the interests and capabilities of the student(s).

Skills:

Solid Mechanics, Finite element method, Laboratory skills

Supervisor

Raj Das
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Fan test and wind tunnel labs


Project code: ENG090

Setup and testing of new fan test and wind tunnel equipment (from Cussons Ltd), designing labs for Mecheng 712 and 715, and developing lab documentation for teaching labs.

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Investigation of fluid dynamics and / or heat transfer characteristics of impinging jets and/or oscillatory duct flows


Project code: ENG091

Setting up jet impingement (synthetic jet; continuous jet) apparatus, instrument calibration, running experiments over a range of parameters provided by the supervisor, conducting error analysis, and analysis of all the experimental data as required, producing a report.

Supervisor

Rajnish Sharma
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Internet of Things-enabled Smart Manufacturing Execution System


Project code: ENG092

IoT-enabled manufacturing is an advanced principle where typical production resources are converted into smart objects which are able to sense, interconnect, and interact with each other to automatically carry out the manufacturing activities. The project involves working on a manufacturing execution system (MES) with advanced technologies for creating a smart production environment. The technologies to be used include, Internet of Things (e.g. RFID and Barcode), wireless communication (e.g. BlueTooth, WiFi) and programming languages (C#, Java). Interested students are to have knowledge in MES, Web-based applications, RFID, databases, and ability to program.

Supervisor

Ray Y. Zhong
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Big Data Analytics for IoT-enabled Manufacturing


Project code: ENG093

The Big Data Analytics for IoT-enabled manufacturing aims to propose various solutions for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in implementing IoT technologies and Big Data Analytics so as to achieve Cloud Manufacturing. The project aims to propose a data visualization system by making full use of the Big Data collected from IoT-enabled manufacturing. Key technologies include RFID, data warehouse, graphical techniques, and service oriented architecture. Interested students are to have knowledge in database, Web-based applications, RFID, and ability to program.

Supervisor

Ray Y. Zhong
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Toward Intelligent 3D Printing


Project code: ENG094

3D printer is considered as a manufacturing embedded system, which has become more and more prevalent as a source of rapid fabrication tool. However, most 3D printers lack adaptability, autonomy, efficiency, reliability and intelligence. The project involves working on an existing 3D printer to add advanced features so as to give the above-mentioned capabilities. The technologies to be used include Cyber-Physical Production Systems (CPPS), Internet of Things and Internet of Services.

Interested students are to have knowledge in 3D printing, Web-based applications, sensors, data processing, control and ability to program. 

Supervisor

Xun Xu
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Cloud-based control systems


Project code: ENG095

It has been suggested that the physical location of the control system be moved from that of the machine to a cloud, i.e. Control System as a service (CSaaS). In this way, the control system becomes scalable, capable of handling highly complex computational tasks and easier to keep the process know-hows at bay. This project looks at utilizing capabilities of modern Wide Area Network (WAN) and Local Area Network (LAN) to connect the control system with different parts of the machine, e.g. drives, sensors, devices and HMI. This project requires expertise in network, cloud computing and control systems. 

Supervisor

Xun Xu
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Cloud-based Smart Wearable Device Applications


Project code: ENG096

With the emerging information and manufacturing technologies, such as: cloud computing, internet of things (IoT), Bluetooth 4.0 and additive manufacturing, personalized smart wearable devices have been developed and marketed worldwide.  This project aims to develop a software toolkit for a customized smart wearable device. The participant will be able to step through all the product development stages in a real case along with his/her creative ideas. On the customer side, useful information and feedback will be captured and analysed in a cloud-based environment by utilizing Eyetracker and online tools. On the product development side, 3D printer enables rapid prototyping of tangible personalized product with design specifications. Interested candidates must be familiar with Android/IOS programming and a good knowledge of CAD software.

Supervisor

Xun Xu
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Bilateral Upper-limb rehabilitation device


Project code: ENG097

Stroke is one of the leading causes of long term disabilities in adults, with patients spending years struggling to regain normal motion while being unable to carry out normal day to day tasks. Research has shown the potential for robotic rehabilitation to be used to supplement traditional rehabilitation methods, reducing therapy time and reducing the work-load on clinics and therapists. This project continues on with previous research in developing and testing a bilateral upper limb rehabilitation robot, the ReachHab, which simulates (and aims to improve) upper limb.  

 

Supervisor

Shane Xie

The aims of this project will be to bring ReachHab to a state where it is a robust system with fully integrated components and software for clinical trial. The work involves mechanical design, control, software and robot-human interaction. The motors should be analysed for suitability, new motors sourced if needed, and should be integrated into the system with appropriate drivers, controllers and control algorithms to both assist and resist the patients movements based on competency. The mixed reality system needs to be developed to be fully integrated into the system and to provide an engaging real-time environment with games/activities that encourage rehabilitation. Testing should be carried out to assess user’s reactions and engagement (via questionnaire) while using the ReachHab to determine the patients motivation to fully utilise the system, and if time allows, biomechanical testing should be carried out to verify the effectiveness and rehabilitation potential.

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Feasibility Study on Manufacturing and Characterisation of Fibreboard Using Agricultural Waste


Project code: ENG098

Over 600 million tons of rice paddy are produced worldwide each year and of this, approximately 20% is the agricultural waste rice husk. In this project, research will be undertaken in creating composite boards using rice husk powder with or without a binder. Investigation of a binderless rice husk composites will be the main focus of this study.

Students with manufacturing skills and some chemical background/knowledge will be ideal for this project; however, these are not the compulsory skill sets for a candidate.

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Further development of an engineering change management method


Project code: ENG099

Project will continue the development of a method for predicting the impact of design changes on a mechanical system. This will involve review of the literature as well as work to further develop and test the approach by application to a representative mechanical engineering example.

Supervisor

David Wynn
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Further development of a computer model of product development coordination


Project code: ENG100

Continue the development of a computer model for product development coordination. The model simulates information flows between participants in a project and can be used to explore influence of coordination factors (such as meeting frequency) on overall time to completion. This project is computer based and you should be comfortable working with either Matlab, Java or C#. An interest in engineering management would also be an asset.

Supervisor

David Wynn
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Wind loads and motion of tall buildings


Project code: ENG101

Project requires a student with practical skills interested in aerodynamics, careful wind tunnel testing, and analysis of data using Matlab.

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Pedestrian level wind investigations using Irwin probes


Project code: ENG102

Project requires a student with practical skills interested in aerodynamics, careful wind tunnel testing, and analysis of data using Matlab.

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Performance of Olympic class yachts


Project code: ENG103

Project requires a student with practical sailing skills interested in aerodynamics, building instrumentation, undertaking full scale and/or wind tunnel tests, and analysis of performance data using Matlab. Mechatronics knowledge would be an advantage for instrumentation development.

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Modeling of Electret-based MEMS Vibration Energy Harvester


Project code: ENG104

Electret has been widely used as capacitive sensor for pressure and vibration sensing with high sensitivity and accuracy. In recent years, electret film sensor has also been employed to harvest mechanical energy via the electrostatic principle. The existence of “trapped” permanent charges in the electret film eliminates the requirement of external voltage or charge source which is indispensable in conventional electrostatic energy harvesting devices. Thus electret-based energy harvesting has attracted extensive research interests recently.

 

Supervisor

Dr. Lihua Tang

This summer project aims at establishing a robust holistic model of electret-based MEMS vibration energy harvester, which is expected to be able to predict the structural dynamics and the power output from the electret and take into account the effect of electromechanical coupling.

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Identification of bird calls in the NZ bush


Project code: ENG105

Identifying the bird species for studying the ecology of birds in the bush is currently realised by listening to recordings for long hours but is a time consuming task. Sophisticated tools such as machine learning may be used to automate the identification process but informative information has to be extracted from the recording by signal processing first in order to achieve accurate identification. This project will look into a signal processing algorithm to

Suitable students should have some fundamental knowledge of signal processing such as completing MECHENG370 or ELECTENG733. Matlab programming experience is a plus.

Supervisor

Yusuke Hioka
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Audio signal processing for UAV recording


Project code: ENG106

Along with the wide spread of various consumer electronics devices with microphones e.g. mobile phones and laptop PC, speech enhancement has been a key technology to allow users to use the devices in noisy environment. Application of speech enhancement contributes to improve the quality of communication using speech. Speech enhancement is often achieved by using a microphone array, which forms a directivity beam pointed in the target speaker's direction that reinforces the sound arriving from the speaker.

 

Supervisor

Yusuke Hioka

The supervisor is in a member of one of the finalist of the recent C-Prize UAV challange organised by the Callaghan Innovation in 2015. The project aimed at developing a UAV that carries audio equipment for filming purposes. While the team tried to minimise the noise caused by the rotors of the UAV, the speech enhancement took another important role in the project. This research project will further endeavour an intelligent audio signal processing algorithms for the UAV recording.

Suitable students should have some fundamental knowledge of signal processing such as completing MECHENG370 or ELECTENG733. Matlab programming experience is a plus.

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Development of a Transient Conduction Experiment


Project code:  ENG107

It is desired to create a new experiment for teaching the principles of transient conduction.  The lab will use the existing Armfield heat transfer rigs, with water baths, instrumented test objects, and software to enable the measurement of transient conduction for comparison with theory. 

A prototype rig will be built, and initial experiment description written for the students.

Supervisor

Stuart Norris

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Robotic Exoskeleton Biomechanical & Gait Analysis


Project code: ENG108

This project will perform analysis of a human wearer while performing tasks using a robotic exoskeleton. The aim is to understand the joint and muscle forces that are applied during rehabilitation.

Suitable for Mechanical, Mechatronics or Biomedical Engineering student.

Supervisor

Andrew McDaid

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Botox dependant muscle model


Project code: ENG109

The aim is to develop a muscle model that specifically accounts for the effects of Botox (BTX) injections. This will be used for predicting the effects of BTX injections in the upper and lower limb for children with Cerebral Palsy.

Suitable for Mechanical, Mechatronics or Biomedical Engineering student.

Supervisor

Andrew McDaid

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Model reference controller design for paediatric gait robot


Project code: ENG110

The project will involve the development of a model based controller for regulating the human-robot interaction of a paediatric gait trainer for children with neurological injuries.

Suitable for Mechanical, Mechatronics Engineering student.

Supervisor

Andrew McDaid

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