Welcome to UNSW Engineering ChallENG Program!

The ChallENG program is a great opportunity for our academic staff to connect and build robust relationships with industry partners that align with their research. It is also a pipeline for academics to mentor and guide students to continue their studies into postgraduate education.

Want to discuss joining the ChallENG Program?

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The Vertically Integrated Projects Program (VIP) aims to revolutionise undergraduate education by uniting undergraduate and postgraduate students with academics’ cutting-edge research in multidisciplinary teams. Each VIP forms a long-term (three-plus years) multidisciplinary team of students from second year onwards.

The long-term nature of the projects provides students with the opportunity to grow as a team and makes substantial contributions to your research.

Various Student Projects and Social Impact teams from the ChallENG Program will function as a Vertically Integrated Project.

For example, in 2020, the SunSwift Solar Car Team will operate as a VIP team that will be led by Associate Lecturer Daniel Eggler from Mechanical Engineering. Daniel will use this opportunity to build his research in automotive engineering. He will be able to leverage engaged students and other academics across electrical, photovoltaics and computer science and engineering, who are in the VIP program to enhance his research.

Project Contact:

Professor Sami Kara
Visit Sami’s profile

Are you passionate about educating the next generation of engineers? Then become an academic mentor for The Maker Games.

The Maker Games is an engineering industry design and prototyping challenge. Students work in multidisciplinary teams of four to six to solve a challenge put forward by industry.

As an academic mentor for The Maker Games, you will have the opportunity to work with amazing students and build connections with industry that you may be able to leverage for your research.

“My observation has been that the Maker Games changes the way you think and see yourself as an engineer: you begin as a group of students, and you finish as a tightly-knit, capable and entrepreneurial team ready to deploy a compelling solution to a significant real problem.”

- Professor Julien Epps
Head of School, Electrical Engineering & Telecommunications


Project Contact:

Kevin Duquette
Visit Kevin’s profile

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Student Projects and Social Impact- Academic Leaders and Mentors

Would you like the opportunity to mentor a Student Project or Social Impact team under the ChallENG Program?

Our students are always looking for world-leading Academic experts to help elevate and bring their projects to the next level! You can be a crucial part of developing our next generation of globally-focused leaders!

Project Contact:

Stephanie Bagnell
Visit Stephanie’s Profile

Get Involved in Student Projects and Social Impact

Other Advantages of Joining the ChallENG Program

Academics who join the ChallENG Program will be very well supported by the Engineering Student Opportunities Team who will work with academics on operational and project management requirements. The VIP teams will also be supported by the VIP Director, Professor Sami Kara. Technical and HSE support is also provided via the Makerspaces network that is led by Melinda Wimborne. Learn more about The ChallEng Team.

Each team is unique, and the ChallENG Program staff can accommodate the changing needs of your team by providing flexible and scalable team structures. Most teams start with a small “seed” group of 6-8 students directly overseen by one or more faculties. As the team grows, they divide their work among several sub-teams, each lead by an experienced student.

Benefits at a Glance

  • Receive academic, technical and various financial and in-kind support for your team
  • Build a team of passionate students who will make tangible and sustainable contributions to your research or project
  • Connect and engage with industry for your project or area of research
  • Build networks with other academics across the Faculty that will enhance your project or research
  • Once the team is well-established, utilise the group to write research papers 
  • Cultivate a culture of leadership and mentoring:
    • The long-term, sustainable nature of The ChallENG Program creates a mentoring environment, where academics and higher-level students mentor and recruit younger team members to ensure there is a strong succession plan for your team     
    • In addition to research tasks, all students contribute to their team’s knowledge-bank creating references and training materials that allow new team members to quickly get up to speed and become productive, regardless of experience level
    • Joining a Faculty Research team helps students gain experience in team and project management, allowing them to become great researchers and great leaders

Have a question? Contact us on (+61) 2 9385 5000 or email

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