From left to right: Helgard Oosthuysen (Electronics Group Manager, Phitek), University of Auckland junior engineers Emma Wah Lee and Brian Balanon, Senior Lecturer Dr Bernard J. Guillemin, junior engineers Samuel Bird and Jiahao (Andy) Chen and Nigel Greig (Research and Design Manager, Phitek)
9 June, 2015
Phitek Systems promotes the next generation of ideas for aviation audio technology in partnership with New Zealand’s leading university.
A clever idea for delivering wireless headphone technology in airline cabins has won Phitek’s annual undergraduate competition.
Phitek challenged Year 3 junior engineers from the University of Auckland’s Electrical and Electronic Engineering degree to design a wireless audio solution within real world cost and operating constraints.
Phitek Research and Design Manager, Nigel Greig, said the students had to create a wireless product that could meet aviation airline standards and handle the large number of passengers using headphones in the confined space of a cabin.
“With 300 plus passengers accessing their in-flight entertainment at the same time, the students had to come up with smart electronic solutions that could handle the high level of interference and be cost-effective for the airline.”
Dr Bernard J. Guillemin, Senior Lecturer in the University’s Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering said one of the primary goals of the Bachelor of Engineering (Hons.) degree programme is to prepare students for the challenges they will face in their future careers.
“A key aspect of this is exposing students to challenging real-world problems. Collaborations with industry partners such as Phitek is crucial to achieving this,” said Guillemin.
“When students see the relevance of what they have been studying through such interactions it greatly enhances their motivation and eagerness to learn.”
Five teams were shortlisted from 20 group entries. All finalists demonstrated fully functioning line-of-sight wireless headphone systems to the judges. The winning team comprising Brian Balanon, Samuel Bird, Jiahao Chen and Emma Wah Lee was chosen at the prize giving on 5 June with the judges mentioning “a very strong business-viable system that achieved clear audio over the longest range.”
About University of Auckland (www.auckland.ac.nz)
The University of Auckland is New Zealand’s leading university. It is the only one included in the Times Higher Education top 200 and it is the highest ranked New Zealand university in the QS World University Rankings and Shanghai Jiao Tong Academic Ranking of World Universities. Some 35 percent of the top ranked academic researchers in New Zealand are at The University of Auckland.
The Faculty of Engineering has more than 3,900 students: 2,900 at undergraduate level, 430 in taught postgraduate programmes and over 500 research postgraduate students. Research is a key activity at the faculty, with large scale research activities and collaborations with other institutions and members of the industry. Much of the work undertaken is of a world-class level, while in many areas, the research programmes, and academics and students involved, are clearly leading the world in their discoveries and developments.