Good vibes only!

As the sun sets later each day, the closer we are to the end of Semester two! Woohoo, can’t wait for summer! In semester two I took 5 papers; ENGSCI263, ENGGEN204, MECHENG270, FINANCE251, and COMLAW101. Although this was the first time I took 5 papers, this semester was much easier and less stressful than the first semester. I felt like I had more time to watch lectures, go outside and have time to myself. Maybe this was due to lockdown and I was basically stuck in my hall for the past two months but I have throughly enjoyed learning the content and adapting to the lockdown life-style.

Anyways, I have once again complied a short but sweet summary of all the engineering papers I took. Hope you enjoy the summaries and as always feel free to ask any questions in the comments below!

OR Project: Trucking route visualisation around Auckland!

ENGSCI 263: Engineering Science Design I

  • Two lectures per week (1 hour each)
  • One lab per week (2 hours)
  • Resource Consent + Labs (33%)
  • Optimisation Project + Labs (27%)
  • Final exam (40%)


ENGSCI 263 is the paper which ties everything you learnt in semester one together so if you struggled with the first semester papers, you’ll find this paper challenging. This paper is split up into two projects based on continuum mechanics (CM) and operations research (OR). Both projects you work in teams of 4-5 and are expected to work together as a team. MAKE SURE YOU CONTRIBUTE IN GROUP PROJECTS. I can’t emphasise this enough but please put some time and effort into group projects, it’ll make the project so much easier for everyone and you’ll learn sometime as well!

The CM project used a lot of our prior skills from ENGSCI233 (python paper) where we calibrated models to data and looked at the uncertainty in our model. My project was on Nitrate leaching into Southland Aquifers where we looked at how increased dairy farming can lead to an increase in nitrate concentration which has many environmental impacts. We modelled varying levels of cow stock and how this can impact the nitrate concentration. Overall, there as some interesting content taught and we had to write our first Engineering Report which I accidentally pulled an all-nighter to finish.

The OR project was the highlight of this semester. It was very enjoyable and satisfying especially when my code worked! In this project, we were given data on the pallet demand of Woolworth stores all around Auckland. From this, we were expected to generate trucking routes where trucks can travel from a distribution centre to Woolworth stores all over Auckland, delivering pallets of goods. This project gave us the freedom to generate our own code where every group came up with unique ways on how to generate their trucking routes. The main focus of this project was working as a team to produce a visualisation of your routes and also simulate your routes to ensure a valid representation of results. I spent countless hours coding this project but I enjoyed every moment of it and it gave me confidence to code in the future. There was also a report similar to CM at the end of the project.


  • Ensure you work together as a team and everyone knows their role and understands what they are doing
  • State your strengths and weaknesses and figure out who wants to do what section of the project (always have a positive give it a go attitude!)
  • Go to labs and ask questions when you are stuck!
  • Start writing your report section by section as you do the project


ENGGEN 204: Professional Skills and Communication

Stakeholder analysis


  • Two lectures per week (1 hour each)
  • One tutorial per week (1 hours)
  • Video assignment (20%)
  • Team Presentation (20%)
  • Team Report (20%)
  • Writing assignment (5%)
  • Tutorial attendance (5%)
  • Two tests (15% each)


For me, ENGGEN 204 was essentially the “common sense” and work efficiently as a team paper. In this paper, you are randomly allocated in a team of 8 where you will be working together on 3 group projects which essentially determines your overall grade for this paper. The first project was a video assignment where we recorded a 3 minute video, the second project was writing a stakeholder analysis engineering report, and the third project was research and team presentation where each team spoke for 8 minutes. This paper taught a lot of the general communication skills needed when you graduate such as giving feedback, frameworks on giving good presentations, design thinking, sustainability, climate change and much more!


  • Watch lectures double speed online (personally more efficient for myself)
  • Get to know your team and ensure you delegate tasks evenly
  • Make sure you have a final editor which checks of the entire project to ensure everything is ticked off!


The Last Word

Engsci friends!

Well, this ends my journey with you all but I hope you could take something away from these blogs! It’s been a crazy year but I can say that I’ve made some life long friends through engsci and I can’t wait for summer! At this point in time, I have two exams left so fingers crossed I can push through them!

Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to me on social media or even come say hi to me in the Engineering building. I hope to be a friendly face to everyone and love a good yarn. All the best for your future endeavors, Ben x

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