P U B L I S H E R ’ S D E S K Who will be crowned the winner of The Great Kiwi Engineering CHallenge ENGINEERING COMPETITION TO FIND THE MOST INNOVATIVE KIWI OF THEM ALL www.engineeringnews.co.nz 3 Finalists to be exhibited at EMEX 2018 My goat’s up. I’m annoyed and I will get to that. But because of ‘it’ we at NZ Engineering News are launching a nationwide competition to find out who the greatest engineering Kiwi of them all is for 2018. We’re calling it the ‘The Great Kiwi Engineering Challenge 2018’ (Should have got in Saatchi & Saatchi to help with that one, eh). Through any facet of engineering, from CNC machined to robotics, electrical engineering to 3D printing – or a multi-faceted, materials/ technology approach, a rocket Kiwi, you decide - we are challenging you out there in the darkest of workshops, from every depth of foundry of country, to show your true Kiwi 8 Wire spirit and defend your honour (I will get to that part soon, too) and in turn create the greatest Kiwi that’s been engineered of them all… and to win the inaugural The Great Kiwi Engineering Challenge 2018’. There will be bugger all rules. You make a Kiwi – that’s probably about it with the rules (and maybe a couple more we’ll outline next month to keep lawyers happy). We want you to make the greatest Kiwi that has ever been made (as in the Kiwi bird, not a great Kiwi like Edmund Hillary or Burt Munro). 2018? Creativity; it’s what goes into it that counts. And we’ll show the top examples of such creative Kiwis at EMEX18 on a big stand, and sing the cool creativeness that flows from our Kiwi engineers and crews, from the ceilings to the floors. This competition has its roots in recent comments about the engineering aspects of Emirates Team New Zealand’s win aboard the boat with the bicycles. Auckland University graduate school of management lecturer Ben Fath called it “pure genius”. He had put down, in part and in brief, the win to being cash strapped and having to get really ‘Kiwi’ on it and innovative to compete at a higher level. “New Zealand engineering firms are particularly good at having a fresh look at things,” Mr Fath was reported as saying in The New Zealand Herald. “They’ve really executed on this.” And, surely, you’d have to agree. Cycling posts instead of shoulder grinders on board are pretty darn innovative. But in what is probably – in retrospect – tougher competition than Burling had from Spithill on the water, a Massey senior lecturer has come out shouting “bollocks” to that. James Lockhart said “bollocks, to put it mildly” on the notion that innovation could be led by underfunding. He said that there was no evidence that New Zealand was even an innovative country and that we're probably getting worse”. Ohhh… that’s it, right there; goat up. I would say to Mr Lockhart that the industry I know is as innovative as it gets. I know an industry – this engineering industry and in the back sheds, too – which is absolutely laden with hidden gems of innovation. Many, most of them in fact, keep their projects tight to their chests because of true Kiwi humbleness. Others, well, you can only share so much critical military knowledge. There’s a wealth of innovation out there undiscussed and unrecorded. I’m challenging the industry to prove Mr Lockhart wrong. So, the competition is announced, with much more detail to follow next month. Let’s hope we give birth to the greatest Kiwi of them all – who knows, it may even fly.
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