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Siemens is challenging these students to innovate real solutions to real problems

This is pretty cool. Siemens has just announced the finalists in its Cyber Junkyard competition, which challenges students to design and build engineering solutions to 21st century industry problems.

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Now in its 11th year, the competition aims to promote engineering skills and encourage tertiary students to apply theoretical knowledge from the lecture halls in real-world settings has expanded to include a new business development component.

Unlike previous years, where Cyber Junkyard participants had to recreate and improve a prototype innovation supplied by Siemens, this year’s students were allowed to engineer a solution to any industry problem they chose.

The projects entered this year are:

  • A coffee bean toaster
  • Intelligent maintenance assistant
  • Automated cocktail machine
  • Precision and intelligent farming technology
  • Biogas micro / office heating system
  • Cup cake decorating machine
  • Gravity warehousing system
  • Manufacturing electricity for the future – Microgrid

These projects aim to demonstrate how technology can be used in future manufacturing processes and do not merely showcase the particular project. The ultimate goal is that the technologies used in these projects can also be used in other manufacturing processes of the future.

Alongside the engineering processes though, this year students were also required to engage with the business side of the technologies.

“Siemens set this year’s focus for the Cyber Junkyard competition on innovating for the future of manufacturing.” says Siemens Industry Sector CEO, Raymond Padayachee. “We are looking for projects which demonstrate automation, efficiency, marketability and an application of engineering principles. In the final round in October, the teams will gather to ‘sell’ their innovations to the judging panel of industry leaders.”

“Digital automation and control have opened the doors to new opportunities for solving old engineering and industry problems, and who better to grab this opportunity than the young minds of the engineers of tomorrow,” he adds.

“The future of the manufacturing industry will rely on these individuals and their ability to use cutting edge automation, simulation and control technology to engineer the right solutions for a future which is only just being imagined.”

The deciding round of the annual Cyber Junkyard engineering technology competition in South Africa will take place on 27 October, with eight teams from tertiary engineering departments across the country now focused on preparing for the final challenge. Winners will be announced on the same day at a gala event.

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