Nathan Chan’s (2019) Float Buddy project which aims to reduce the risk of boat strikes, shallow water blackouts and communication issues for divers, has seen him placed second in the Engineering category of the 2020 BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards.

Nathan designed the float buddy to provide divers with the ability to store spearguns, fins, Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRBS) and flares all in one safe location to enter and exit the water when spear fishing.

Watch Nathan's video interview with CSIRO here.

Fellow Barker students, Emma Leggett-Budden (2019), Rohan Fahey (2019) and William Spargo (2019) also attended the BHP National Finalist Awards in Melbourne as they were all finalists for the Student Awards.

Emma designed the Ezy-Lift which is an Inflatable Rescue Boats (IRB) engine carrier that can transport an engine from the storage rack on the wall of the surf club shed to the transom on the back of the IRB safely and efficiently. This is to reduce the number of lifesavers required to transfer the engine, whilst eliminating any risk of injury that may occur whilst carrying the engine.

Rohan designed the Autobin, which is to combat a high number of injuries, particularly in elderly residents, received during the process of moving cumbersome household wheelie bins to the curb side. The robotic product features an electrically powered drivetrain that can be attached to the base of household bins, and autonomously navigate its way to the street via vision tracking software using on-board camera sensors.

William designed the Bench Safe, a gym bench safety device which improves safety for those who lift alone. The device assists in making the home gym bench press systems safer, especially for people who work out unaccompanied. It enables the user to activate reloadable safety bars that are out of the way during exercise but acts quickly when required.

The National Finalist spent 3 days in Melbourne presenting their work to Engineers and Judges and had the opportunity to liaise with industry leaders from CSIRO and BHP.

Barker College BHP Finalist included:

Will Spargo – ‘Bench Safe’ - Watch interview

Emma Leggett-Budden – Ezy-Lift - Watch Interview

Nathan Chan – Float Buddy - Watch Interview

Rohan Fahey – Auto-Bin - Watch Interview

The BHP Foundation Science and Engineering Awards are a partnership between the BHP Foundation, CSIRO, the Australian Science Teachers Association and each state and territory Science Teachers Association.

Since 1981, the awards have been recognising student excellence.

In 2019 Lucy Lake (2018) was awarded second place in the Engineering category for her Biomimicry inspired carbon fiber racing oar.