Over the weekend of 13-14 April 2019, we welcomed UC Mechanical Engineering alumni back to campus. Alumni toured the department and labs, heard interesting talks from staff about developments in teaching and research, and enjoyed drinks and canapes while being entertained by guest speaker (and UC Mech Eng alumnus) Steve Gurney! This is the first reunion the department has hosted since 2010, and it was great to see so many alumni from around NZ (and overseas!) come back to campus.
Assoc Prof Shayne Gooch welcomed guests back to UC and gave everyone a quick overview on recent developments in the department. This included highlighting recent research awards and successes of academic staff, recent student awards and achievements, and new programme developments in the department. Prof Mathieu Sellier, our incoming Head of Department, also welcomed guests and discussed the direction the department was headed in the future.
Guests heard talks from several of our departmental staff, including Prof Keith Alexander on The Trampoline Story, Dr Debbie Munro about plans for the new Biomedical Engineering minor, Bruce Robertson on the Formula Student race car design and competitions, and Prof Geoff Rodgers on mechanical engineering design for earthquake engineering. Alumni toured the labs and workshops, which were reopened in 2018 after a $163 million rebuild and refurbishment project across all of Engineering. Staff were hand on to run a few demos and talk about current research projects. This was the first time some alumni had been in the labs in over 40 years, and many commented on how much has changed!
We welcomed UC alumnus Steve Gurney (Mechanical Engineering, 1986) as our guest speaker. He kept the crowd laughing with the hilarious stories from the world of adventure racing and how he used what he learned as an engineering student (especially design classes!) to win his races and come up with some of his inventions used in his sporting endeavours. Alumni had a chance to network with fellow classmates, colleagues and staff over drinks and canapes in the new Engineering Core building on campus.
On Sunday 14 April, alumni got the chance to board a 1960s double-decker London bus and take a tour of Christchurch. The tour had a full commentary on the rebuild of Christchurch since the earthquake, including stops at the new Turanga central library, Christ Church Cathedral, and the old UC campus, which is now the Arts Centre in Christchurch. It also included a few “behind the scenes” stories of UC research being applied to rebuild projects.
A huge thank you to all who attended, it was great to see you! To view photos of the weekend check out our photo album.
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