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This month's May Roundup has some interesting sure to scroll down for a read.

A printable, flexible and rechargeable battery

Nano-engineers at the University of California (San Diego), have developed zinc batteries flexible and stretchable by using hyper-elastic polymer layers made from isoprene and polystyrene. In this way, the batteries can stretch twice their size without damage. The batteries were also able to be made rechargeable by adding bismuth oxide to the ink, along...

For over 1.3 billion people in the world, electricity can change everything. In Africa alone, 630 million people do not have electricity. We talk to Tristan Kochoyan, the founder of Power On, a for-profit organization that has set up a power grid in Benin, West Africa - and wants to share the secret to a sustainable power grid with the world. They think capitalism and solar engineering technologies are the answer to getting everyone in the world access to prosperity-building...

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Dear Colleagues

I notice with faint amusement that Intel announced last week (rather too confidently) that ‘Self-driving cars will add $7 trillion a year to global economy by 2050’. As one less-than-impressed punter remarked: This was presumably said to boost Intel shares.

What is the impact on us as engineering professionals?


Here we go again – ‘Massive Business Opportunities’

The move to the driverless future reminds me of a comment made by another colleague...

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Getting hired at prominent engineering companies is a tough feat. You need the right set of skills and qualifications, together with relevant experience (in most cases) and convince them that you are indeed the right candidate for the job (often in a sea of applicants). Students graduating into the modern day workplace need slick, impressive curriculum vitae in order to catch recruiters’ attentions.

The disturbing part of this is the fact that the recruiter in many companies today is...

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Our Dean, Steve Mackay, attended this day long event on Wednesday 31st May. He met senior students from a number of schools in the south west corner of Western Australia – his first foray into the high school sector.

The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is proudly presenting four sturdy, industry-driven BSc degrees in engineering to students around the world, using our interactive, live online method of learning. With these qualifications and our first campus ready in East...

In-ear EEG devices have become increasingly more popular in the later stages of the last decade. Carel Wessels, the top student of Electronic Engineering at the University of Pretoria for 2016, has now taken on a new challenge. He is designing and developing an in-ear EEG device that will revolutionize industries such as the truck driving industry and the infant care industry.


What follows is an in-depth conversation about how electronic engineering and biomedical engineering meet...

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Dear Colleagues


Great engineering careers aren’t built around sudden inspiration, profound insight or even incredible technical abilities. I believe they are built around an average person doing ordinary things extraordinarily well coupled with huge persistence and patience.


A good example of an ordinary person who did well in engineering and in the military is General Dwight Eisenhower (who later became – arguably a good president). He was an average performer in his...

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When a pump stops operating, an entire industrial operation can be halted. When they do go down, a level of troubleshooting is necessary before the operation of a pump can be restored. In some cases, an entirely new pump is needed due to the several kinds of erosion that pumps undergo. This hiatus in is always financially challenging.

However, strides are being made to ensure that troubleshooting is as quick and painless as possible. The technology to monitor pumps and their operation is...

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Dear Colleagues,


If you look at the results of most economists, financiers and journalists you will see that their prognostications are never particularly good at predicting the future. It is nevertheless tempting to make a few suggestions about the future of oil and electric vehicles as solid trends are now emerging. Ultimately everything is driven by price - and oil and electricity is certainly no exception.

As engineering professionals you are certainly going to be impacted...

Your engineering qualifications could take you anywhere around the globe. Even to the southernmost continent. 

This week we talk to a South African electrical engineer who overwintered in Antarctica. From December 2015 to February 2017, Paddy Riley, a graduate of the University of Cape Town, tells us how he spent 14 months in Antarctica, assisting with the operating electrical equipment at space weather research base, SANAE IV. 

The South African National Space Agency sends...

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Robots are an integral part of the industrial operation, and as the fourth industrial revolution steamrolls ahead, they are part of the automation of more and more processes than ever before.


The reality is that robots cannot be kept apart from the human worker as in years gone by. In industrial operations it is becoming commonplace to see employees interacting with and utilizing industrial-scale and smaller, collaborative robots.


Collaborative robots are robots...

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If companies want to capitalize on the future of clean energy, they’re going to have to get at least one foot in the door when it comes to storing that energy. A company who has a little more than a foot in the door is Tesla. It has been in their interest to invest in lithium-ion battery technology because the Tesla business relies on it: electric vehicles and solar storage for homes and businesses. They have made strides in growing their batteries’ lifetimes thanks to a seasoned battery...

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Elon Musk owns many companies that are on the cutting edge of engineering and business endeavor. Most recently he has been working on Mars missions and relaunching used rockets with his company SpaceX. He also designs, manufactures and sells electric cars and solar storage options through Tesla. But now he is boring. He has even named it the Boring Company.

His new company has begun digging a tunnel below SpaceX’s parking lot in Los Angeles. The boring machine, that has arrived and has been...

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“It is focused relentlessly on the national interest and assuring that temporary migration visas are not a passport for foreigners to take up jobs that could and should be filled by Australians. Australian jobs for Australian’s first - that’s the focus.” - Malcolm Turnbull

In an unexpected move, Malcolm Turnbull, the Prime Minister of Australia, has announced changes in the immigration policies of Australia. The amendment to the law stipulates that temporary visas will be outlawed for...

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In our modern world engineers are tasked with finding and designing solutions to the key challenges that population growth poses. Building vital infrastructure, which does not harm the planet, for an ever-growing global population is one of the most important challenges engineers face today.

There is one thorny problem to overcome before sustainable solutions can be found:


Our linear economy is impeding the sustainability of engineering invention and manufacturing. Hence, an...

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The United Nations’ State of World Cities report in 2013 estimated that the number of urban residents around the world would grow by 60 million yearly. They also predicted that more than 60% of the world’s population would be living in smart cities by 2050. To accommodate this large influx of human beings, the world’s cities don’t necessarily need to become bigger - they just need to become smar

ter. The opportunities for engineers in the Smart City boom are immeasurable.

A book by...

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Dear Colleagues


No matter how small or big one’s business is – we often tend to be obsessed with what our competition is doing. Naturally, this is all about staying in business and based around the thinking that if you ignore your competition; they may steal opportunities away from you and then who knows what could happen.


Competition could be a simple as another electrician providing similar installation services to you or perhaps, a fast growing engineering design...

Dr Steve Mackay and Ms Edwina Ross met with Engineers Australia on the morning of the 28th March. Emmanuelle Wintergerst, their National Manager for Skills Assessment, outlined the process for those wishing to work and reside in Australia. It is summarised here: To have your qualifications assessed by Engineers Australia, the following options are available:

  1. If you need an assessment to gain eligibility for a Skilled Migrant visa, the following link will guide you through the process:...

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Dear Colleagues

I believe there are many of you – in common with me - who have accepted a new job or task and then regretted it afterwards. In my case, I recall a particularly well paying engineering job giving me huge opportunities in a growing area of engineering (industrial automation). However, the company was dysfunctional, treated their clients with disrespect, never delivered on promises and my boss was dictatorial and made poor decisions. It put huge pressure on me and after a year...

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Virtual labs


Remote engineering, also referred to as online engineering, is a fairly recent development in engineering and science. Its aim is to facilitate the shared use of equipment, resources, and specialized software such as simulators.


The expansion of the internet as a tool for training and actual work has thrust remote engineering into a position of importance. The world of engineering is after all a connected world; every engineering component is connected to...

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The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) state that 66% of Australians are university graduates or have completed an apprenticeship.


In Australia, getting a job without a degree in certain industries was once commonplace, however, employers are now requiring that all important piece of paper; the degree. Joshua Krook, a Doctoral Candidate in Law at the University of Adelaide, writing for The Conversation, alludes to the fact that the goalposts are continually being moved when it...

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Pierre Vermoter has 23 years of experience in the mining, maintenance and construction sectors. He currently works for Murray & Roberts in cementation in their mine engineering design office. He is an accomplished mechanical technician with 16 years of ‘hands on’ technical experience. He has also spent some years in technically associated planning, procurement and sales, and then in mechanical and structural design.

Pierre says that the most fascinating development in the industry is the...

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Welcome back to another month of quirky and exciting occurrences in the Engineering world. From the invention of dissolvable batteries, to cooking dinner in your washing machine, this month's April roundup has got you covered for an interesting read...

Engineering the perfect Easter egg

Have you ever wondered why chocolate melts in your mouth but not your hand? The explanation to this is with precision melting, according to chemical engineer Professor Ray Dagastine (University of...


14 Myths About Online Education with EIT

The world has become inundated with various myths regarding online learning, mostly due to the infancy of the phenomenon. EIT has become a major proponent in rectifying the detrimental rumours that still plague many undecided prospective engineers.

Below is a collated list of the top online learning rumours debunked:


Online Learning is only for People with Good Computer Skills

False! This myth is a perpetual fear for many...

A compilation of effective internet utensils available to all prospective and current engineers



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Proof that adding ‘googly eyes’ to your next engineering design will improve customer satisfaction is here. In Baltimore, Maryland, in the United States, engineers have added eyes to a solar powered, trash-eating water wheel. They have subsequently given it a name as well: Mr Trash Wheel.


Image Credit: CBS News Baltimore


The creators of Mr Trash Wheel explain how it works on their website: “The river’s current provides power to turn the water wheel, which lifts...

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Dear Colleagues

We are all keen for our teams to be more successful and innovative. This requires your team to be supremely experimental and enthused with constantly trying new approaches – probably showing significant levels of energy in doing this. But as engineering professionals, we are often also  anxious about excessive risk and failure and thus try and steer our guys away from this experimental approach. All seemingly a gigantic contradiction.

Obviously, if you are dealing...

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Dear Colleagues

You can surely summarise the recent massive technology changes that have happened in four sentences:

  • Launch the microprocessor and personal computer
  • Connect processors (PCs) together in networks
  • Connect networks  to each other globally (the internet)
  • Add sensors and mobile devices (such as drones/driverless cars)


The last change is the interesting one and the connectivity often referred to Internet of Things (IoT)


Drones are...

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“It’s a big problem this place. I’ve lost a lot of money. I lost about a million five years ago. So, I stopped for five years. I learned a lesson. Why did they build this place here? To give money away? They’re here to make money. It’s not to give you money. ” - Anonymous.


“All that the capital city needed and more! Pretty awesome.” - Facebook commenter.

These were the mixed reactions to Africa’s second-largest casino. Sun Times Square, a casino that cost USD$289 million to...

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The world continues to deliver education and training via age old methods, despite innovation in almost every other sector. The tide is however turning, and it is gathering speed.


Instead of being reinvented it is merely being reshaped by a number of resourceful technologies which allow education to reach a wider audience, ranging from videos through to virtual interactive exercises.


Unfortunately these new technologies are often employed to the detriment of effective...

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Tertiary education is under threat in a world where uncertain political climates threaten the graduation and employment prospects of students. However, there is a silver lining in the sector which could in fact lead to more students studying towards a prosperous future. The internet.



The trigger that triggered the universities

The extent to which the political process is interfering with higher education is perhaps not being scrutinised more thoroughly than in the...

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Dear Colleagues

Most attempts at change fail - some pundits estimate up to 70% of change attempts fail (Harvard Business Review). Change is particularly hard as it involves people. This is the greatest challenge in effecting change – equipment and hardware changes are relatively easy by comparison. With people there is always inertia to changing from the existing status quo. Especially as they have probably undergone vigorous change initiatives in the past – many of which may not have been...

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After eight years of invaluable service Professor Darrell Fisher attended his final EIT Governance Board meeting on the 28th February 2017.


The Board Chairman, Colin Aitken, presenting Professor Darrell Fisher with a farewell gift.


He has built up an enviable reputation in science and engineering education throughout the world and during his long and distinguished academic career. His was the former Deputy Director of Curtin University’s world renowned Science and...

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Space travel is heating up again. The tongue-in-cheek way people are choosing to treat this new boom in space pioneering, is by calling it the second space race. Except this time it’s billionaire versus billionaire. Business giants like Virgin’s Richard Branson and Amazon and Blue Origin’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, are looking to the skies, and hoping to define the future of space travel. Another one of the esteemed gentleman at the helm of the new age of space travel is South African born Elon...

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  A grim reality the world has had to face in the modern age is the fact that the planet’s waterways are overwhelmingly polluted. Much of it is unfortunately thanks to the technologies and products engineered in the past.


Humans need to put their waste somewhere; most of the time it is the ocean that gets the tough task of handling it all.


The National Ocean Service at the U.S. Department of Commerce reports that most ocean pollution begins on land. In fact, 80%...

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The breakthroughs in the biomedical engineering industry are staggering. For instance, the world has moved closer to a system of wearable diagnostic tools that are designed to continually monitor human health – consider the Fitbit for instance.  And ideas that had previously been designated to the realm of science fiction are becoming reality.


One such advanced study involves ingestible robots, used for retrieving swallowed button batteries and also for the treatment of the...

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 It was the world’s worst nuclear disaster.


(The Chernobyl Disaster 2015).


The catastrophic Chernobyl disaster occurred on 26 April, 1986. Chernobyl, the nuclear power plant in Ukraine, is responsible for thousands of deaths, including large numbers of people suffering from premature cancers linked to exposure to the deadly radiation (The Chernobyl Disaster 2015).

The accident occurred during an experiment to test a way of cooling the core of the reactor in an emergency situation (The...

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China’s National Energy Administration (NEA) has announced that all construction projects for new coal power plants will be cancelled, effective immediately. Instead, the NEA is investing $361 billion into expanding renewable energy technologies in an effort to reduce the crippling smog levels in many cities in China. The number of coal power stations that will be halted, according to Reuters, is “over 100”.


The Independent predicts that the move from coal to renewable power will...

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 “The future wars will be fought over water.”


Are we heading for a future where those who have the cleanest and most abundant water will be the most prosperous? As it stands, to discern which countries are first world and which are third the cleanliness of drinking water is a consideration.


To conserve clean water some have been thinking outside the box. California’s county of Los Angeles has been through a long drought so is ready to go ‘balls to the wall’ to try...

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Dear Colleagues


Great work! You have been offered a tremendous new engineering job and are poised to accept. Subject to a final negotiation session to finalise the details, of course.

When you are offered a job – this is normally a signal that you are near end of a long road of a job search, investigating the opportunities and then going on interminable interviews. This period of time when you are close to acceptance of the job is a critical one as you have a huge opportunity to...

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The breakthroughs in the biomedical engineering industry were staggering in 2016. The world moved closer toward wearable systems that could continually monitor human health, and even produced studies for ingestible robots, designed to be powered by human stomach acid.



With biomedical engineering technologies becoming more apt at generating data about the human body and with more accuracy, the world is edging closer to more precise medical...

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What are they and can they provide the solution to the ‘skill gap’ conundrum?

One can earn a micro-credential in a specific, targeted skill or acquire a number of them – part of a broader, inclusive skill set.

Udacity, one of the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) providers refer to those micro-credentials which form a skill set as nonodegrees and describe them as  curriculums designed to help you become job ready’.

Krista Moroder, a software engineer, states that micro-credentials are...

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What has the Engineering world taught us in the past month? From brilliant developments to quirky new inventions, the good news and the not so good, the month of March has proven to be an interesting one...

Development announced of a new BLAST PROOF tower in Melbourne’s CBD

Image courtesy of

Can any building really be engineered to be “blast-proof”? A new “blast-proof” and “ram raid-proof” 39-storey tower in Melbourne’s CBD will be built to house 2500...

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Dear Colleagues


You would often be confronted with the situation where you have to disagree with your boss or even worse – a client. Is it worth going through the pain of disagreement and the agony afterwards? My  belief is that if you want to stay true to yourself as a credible engineering professional - you have to raise your objections.


It is perfectly natural to avoid conflict – it can be the source of pain and perhaps (in an extreme case – being fired for...

If you have been considering undertaking further study, however have been daunted by the commitment of time and money we may have the solution.
Our new micro-credential course - PICO Master - is a micro credential which allows you to ‘test drive’ an EIT Master Degree while earning valuable credit. We currently have four titles available:

•    Practical Project Management
•    Data Analysis and Statistics
•    Environmental Issues and...

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The Engineering Institute of Technology (EIT) is very proud to present a glimpse into the quite remarkable work being undertaken by our students completing the Master of Engineering in Industrial Automation.


These students, who are studying alongside their work in industry, are deep into the research for the thesis component of the degree. They have delivered the first of two progress presentations and it is clear that their projects will have...

Dear Colleagues

We all yearn for that magic formula to success in life and perhaps in our engineering careers, as well. Although I doubt a simple formula exists. However, scientists at University College London have found what they believe are the five key life skills that will bring you health, career success, wealth and overall success.

Five Fantastic Life Skills

  • Emotional Stability
  • Determination and Grit
  • Control of your environment
  • Optimism
  • And Conscientiousness

You will probably...

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Is the world finally ready to embrace the significance of technical and vocational skills and in doing so bump higher education qualifications off their pedestals and out of their ivory towers?


The government of the United Kingdom is certainly addressing this traditional imbalance.


They are introducing a new ‘T-levels’ system that will run alongside the customary ‘A-levels’, with a plan to implement it by 2019. ‘T-levels’ would prepare a student for further study in...

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In 2013, Nicolene Murdoch, the executive director for teaching and quality at Monash South Africa - a higher education institution - said that historically only 15 to 20% of South African students at universities end up graduating.


More recently, in 2015, the Council of Higher Education calculated the dropout rate (or more formally, the attrition rate) of students that had been studying five year degrees countrywide. The research found that 18% of the country’s 18 to 24 year olds...

EIT's Technical Director, Steve Mackay, enjoys keeping his blog up-to-date with useful tips and current industry matters for his fellow colleagues. He has a loyal and expanding following base reaching over 300,000 people around the world.

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We understand that you may not have time to read all the articles that we post, so our monthly update gives you access to some fascinating articles which cover the best of the months news in a compact format.

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