History of the Competition

In 1988, the Panel on Engineering Design initiated a national “design and build” competition, known today as The Warman Student Design and Build Competition.

The competition is open to students in mechanical engineering who are undertaking their first design analysis course. The competition receives entries from all across the Asia Pacific region, with the majority coming from Australia and NZ. Heats are held at each participating University as part of design engineering courses, typically in the second year of study.

The winning team from the heats at each university then converge on the National Final in Sydney to determine exactly who the region’s best budding engineering designers are.

Warman Design and Build Competition Winner Trophy

The Warman Trophy

In 1989 Engineers Australia, through the National Committee on Engineering Design (NCED), commissioned the design and manufacture of a bronze casting to be known as the Warman Trophy. It was intended to award the mechanically themed trophy to the University of the winning team, for them to display prominently for one year, as a way of strengthening links with the competition.

In later years it was decided to award the trophy to the winning team themselves, although still with the idea that the trophy would be displayed prominently within their university.

The Warman Student Design and Build Competition had its genesis in mid-1987 when John Reizes, at that time a member of Engineers Australia’s Mechanical College Board, suggested setting up an Australia-wide, creative, practical student design competition.  John’s concept was to broaden the scope of a second-year student design-and-build project Alex Churches had been running in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of NSW in Kensington.

The basic concept was to offer an outstanding, ready-made, annual, creative, hands-on design-and-build project at second-year level to all Australian universities running a broadly “mechanical” course.  The aim was to increase students’ experience in creative thinking, practical engineering design and hands-on construction.  The Mechanical College Board agreed to the competition being set up provided a long-term sponsor could be found.  It was Martin Thomas, at that time Chair of the Mechanical College Board who, after the first project had been completed with enthusiasm all round, “tapped Charles Warman on the shoulder”.  On Charles’ enthusiastic agreement, the competition was founded and named the “Warman Student Design-and-Build Competition”.  It was also at John’s suggestion that the College Board established the National Panel on Engineering Design as a home for the new design-and-build competition.  The National Panel was later upgraded to the National Committee on Engineering Design (NCED) and has, from the very beginning, been responsible for organising and running “the Warman”.

In addition to running the Warman Student Design and Build Competition other priority objectives of NCED have been promoting and enhancing mechanical engineering design and championing politically and professionally the case for the creation of a ‘Cooperative Centre for Mechanical Engineering Design’. The Centre remains a work in progress.

Find out more

Read 'A History of the Warman Design & Build Competition 1988-2015'

Past Winners

 

 University     Total wins
1University of Western Australia199320022003200920105
2University of Auckland19971999200420064
4University of Canterbury20002005201320174
3University of New South Wales1988199220073
5University of Newcastle1996201120143
6University of Queensland199420012
7University of Adelaide199720082
8Curtin University199319952
9University of New South Wales (Canberra)199820122
10James Cook University19891
11University of Central Queensland19901
12University of Technology Sydney19911
13Queensland University of Technology 19971
14Flinders University20121
15RMIT University20151
16Monash University Clayton20161
On three occasions - 1993, 1997 and 2012 - joint winners were declared.

Previous Missions

  • THIRTY

    In the “ACME Pinnacle Laboratory”, the Gondwanan Mining Agency (GMA) is currently examining the logistics of collecting and depositing the mined ore and waste. A concept for a new autonomous system to collect, sort and deliver the ore and waste is being investigated. The “run of mine” material is typically stored near the mine site in bins and must be delivered to waste and ore receival bins nearby. The GMA is struggling with the development of a system to efficiently and reliably collect and deliver the ore and waste in a timely manner. The challenge is to design, build and..Read More

  • RAVINE

    “Restore Access Via Independently Navigated Equipment”   The inhabitants of Gondwana have recently experienced a number of significant quakes. These seismic events have resulted in significant damage to essential infrastructure, including roads and bridges, leaving many of the Gondwanan people isolated and cut-off from food and general supplies. Design, build and prove a prototype ravine crossing system in a laboratory environment that simulates conditions on the Gondwana site.

  • EXTRACT

    “EXtract, Transport and Relocate ACcumulated Treasure”   Design, build and prove a prototype ground based system in a laboratory environment that serves to extract, transport and relocate a payload over a defined terrain.  

  • ELEVATE

    “Emergency Lift and Exchange of Volatile And Toxic E-waste”   Design, build and prove a prototype ground based system in a laboratory environment that serves to transport a payload over a defined terrain which includes negotiating an obstacle of sufficient height.

  • CROSS

    “Crevasse Road Outpost Safety System”   Design, build and prove a prototype ground based system in a laboratory environment that serves to transport a payload over a defined terrain which includes negotiating a significant crevasse and some obstacles.  

  • SILVER

    “Strategically Innovate for Laterally and Vertically Effected Replenishment”   Design, build and prove a prototype in a laboratory environment that serves to deliver autonomously a supply package to a balloon based observation facility, using the balloon tether to deliver the supply package.  

  • PnP

    “Pick-n–Place”   Design, build and prove a prototype device in a laboratory environment that serves to transfer a payload of game balls on the defined track in accordance with the rules. In context, can you design the best system to pick and place product in the form of spherical containers between production and warehousing facilities?  

  • PASS

    “re-Position with Accuracy, Safety and Security”   Design, build and prove a prototype device in a laboratory environment that serves to transport a payload across a disjointed and cambered track modelling the newly formed landscape.

  • BATON

    “BATON”   Design, build and prove a prototype device in a laboratory environment that serves to automate a baton exchange.  

  • READY

    “Responsible Emergency Aid for Disaster, Year-round”   Design, build and prove a prototype device in a laboratory environment that serves to navigate difficult terrain and deliver a response payload.