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Engineering + Future Infrastructure:  Designing a better planet

Future engineering is helping to design a better planet.

Andrew Moore, a PhD student at the University of Sydney, is working on a vehicle that could fly you to work by 2020.

“We’ll never be stuck in traffic again!” Andrew exclaims.

The verti-plane

After graduating from UNSW Sydney in aerospace engineering, Andrew is involved in the design of a revolutionary aircraft called vertiia – a ‘verti-plane’ – as part of his PhD research.

This very cool verti-plane is powered by electric motors and won’t require a pilot. With tilting wings and electric propellers that are much smaller and quieter than traditional internal combustion engines, it’s also set to help reduce what aircraft emissions contribute to climate change… a major drawcard for Andrew leading him down the engineering path.

“Every key thing that has enabled humanity to advance has been rooted in solving an engineering problem,” says Andrew.

Biomedical engineering

Engineers are already using another form of the technology to revolutionise agriculture and health. While studying biomedical engineering at the University of Sydney, Saron Berhane helped develop a technology called BioScout, which uses drones to look for pathogens in the air around crops.

The bioscout drone

The BioScout drone collects samples, which are analysed immediately, giving farmers a great tool to avoid crop diseases such as the fungus wheat leaf rust. “An estimated $206 million is spent trying to stop pathogens attacking crops,” Saron says.

BioScout is being developed commercially, and Saron believes the technology could have broader applications – for example in the health sector, like tracking germs in hospitals.

With all of these exciting discoveries, there’s strong demand for innovative engineers like Saron and Andrew.

– Phil Dooley

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Hot jobs in future engineering

Design engineer: $52K–$100K

Quality control engineer: $41K–$117K

Research and development engineer: $45K–$87K

Aerospace engineer: $57K–$125K

*Source: salaries according to Payscale.com

“Every key thing that has enabled humanity to advance has been rooted in solving an engineering problem.”

– Andrew Moore, flying car inventor

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