Gondwana is a small planet orbiting a star on the outer fringes of the Milky Way. Rich in natural resources, the Gondwanans have mined and distributed precious metals throughout the Galaxy. The first stage of the extraction of the metals from the mined ore is using a metallurgical concentrator. This
involves grinding the ore to a fineness which allows the metal bearing particles to be separated from the valueless material or gangue. Water laden with gangue is then pumped to large tailings dams, where the solids settle and the recovered water is returned to the concentrator for reuse. In one application, the gangue has to be pumped across a 2km wide chasm. The pipe is supported by a wire rope spanning the chasm.
Planned maintenance of the slurry pump requires a new impellor to be transported across the chasm. But a recent storm washed out the only bridge, preventing delivery of the urgently needed part. The only way to transport the impellor is by using the wire rope spanning the chasm. An intergalactic transporter has delivered an impellor to a nearby warehouse but the design of a system to collect, transport and deliver the part using the wire rope has stumped the Gondwanan engineers. Young engineers from Earth have once again been asked to assist by designing a system and proving the concept
using a scaled down version.
Over the last 34 years, engineering students have rendered invaluable assistance with such engineering problems, and on this thirty-fifth occasion, the Gondwanans again seek help from a new team of budding engineers to demonstrate a solution.