Two outstanding young engineers have been recognised by Engineering New Zealand’s Auckland Branch’s GT Murray Award for the best student member presentation on an engineering research or design project.

Sabrina Naseem, from Auckland University of Technology, wowed the judges and audience with her beautiful presentation on the design of the future students’ accommodation centre for AUT in Devonport.

She thinks the new accommodation centre can be much more than “a collection of concrete buildings.”

“People and buildings can be linked through a common mind, body and soul – the mind being the planning and designing of a construction project, the body being the physical end product, and the soul being the spatial comfort that occupants experience.”

Sabrina is specialising in Construction Engineering and is in her fourth year of study. She says, “The success of this industrial research project was the outcome of collaborative mahi of four final-year Construction and Architectural students [with Jamie Venkatesh, Josh Laloli and Hayley Ngo] under the guidance of our supervisors.”

While engineers possess many of the ideas and skills needed to solve world problems, the GT Murray Award is as much about being able to present ideas clearly as it is demonstrating innovation and ingenuity.

Runner-up Morgan Dolfing clearly demonstrated this with his fascinating presentation, ‘Cultured Meat’. In 2013, the first burger grown in a laboratory was produced at a cost of $280,000. Morgan’s presentation drew on his research into making lab-grown meat’s price more palatable for mass markets.

“If we’ve no fear of lab-grown meat, there are no limits to the benefit this product could deliver if brought onto the mainstream menu,” says Morgan.

Host Scott Kelly, of Engineering New Zealand Auckland committee, said, “The enthusiasm of these young presenters was impressive. I feel the future of Engineering in New Zealand is in safe hands and it was really uplifting to see a common theme of sustainable development running through all of the students’ presentations.”

The award is named for GT Murray, an early civil engineer who worked on major public projects in Taranaki, Wellington Auckland and who was one of the early members of IPENZ (now Engineering New Zealand). It was established after his death in 1947 and has a total prize pool of nearly $1,000.

Notes to reporters

The GT Murray Award is presented by Engineering New Zealand’s Auckland Branch and open to Engineering New Zealand Student members at Auckland tertiary institutions.

Find out more about the Auckland Branch

Find out more about GT Murray

Engineering New Zealand is New Zealand's professional body for engineers, with some 22,000 members. We represent – and regulate – our members. We also act as the Registration Authority for Chartered Professional Engineers.

For more information or to arrange an interview, contact Richard Anthony on 027 584 0460.