The Built Environment and Engineering Dean's Scholars (BEEDS) Alumni Group strives to create a prestigious group of highly coveted engineers. This exclusive group is open to both graduates and undergraduates of the BEE Faculty Dean's Scholars Program. We aim to provide networking and professional development opportunities through the organisation of events between alumni members, industry and QUT.
BEEDS Great Debate 2013
What engineering discipline would prove most useful in the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse!
Mechatronics have been named the 2013 QUT Dean's Scholars Alumni Great Debate Champions at the debate held last Wednesday evening. Once again, it was a hilarious night of senseless arguments and flawed logic as the Mechanical, Electrical, Civil, Mechatronics, Aerospace and the Multi-Disciplinary Dream Teams all tackled the very important question: What engineering discipline would prove most useful in the inevitable Zombie Apocalypse! This year saw also increased industry involvement, with our first ever industry representative on the judges panel in Ed Szymanski, regional manager of engineering from Bechtel, and presence of Geoff Mitchell (AO), former QUT Outstanding Alumni Award winner and outstanding leader of the Queensland sugar industry, who joined the multi-disciplinary team.
In the first round, the electrical team outlined a strong plan to use hair dryers and bath tub to kill the zombies before the mechanical team demonstrated practical geographical understanding in their survival strategy of driving to the Antarctica. Predictably, Mechatronics planned on developing an army of zombie seeking robots while Aerospace used seek and destroy Unmanned Aerial Vehicles powered by zombie hamster wheels. Notably, the Aerospace team also advised a pre-emptive attack on Mechatronics engineers who apparently would be most likely to turn into zombies and start the apocalypse. As usual, the civil team's strategy consisted largely of an impenetrable concrete fortress, although this time it did include a brewery. Finally, the Multi-Disciplinary Dream Team which was made up of process and environmental engineers together with industrial chemists, scientists and marketing professionals, outlined a fascinating plan to develop a cure for zombies, infect rats as carriers, and then market the rats to the zombie populace.
"The mechanical team's argument was well geared towards the topic, but lacked a little traction" said the evenings Masters of Ceremony, Mr Daniel Stoker. "Likewise," he added, "the civil strategy was built on a solid foundation but could have used a more effective structure. Overall the electrical team had some wires crossed, the aerospace argument was quite streamlined and the mechatronics guys gave a riveting display albeit a little robotic at times. I do believe, though, the multi-disciplinary dream team's argument was in a whole different category!"
The second round saw insults flung and tempers raised, as all teams stooped low to gain the upper hand. In between the cringe-worthy puns from the venerable Mr Stoker, the teams went blow for blow and alternated constantly between abuse for competing teams and outrageous flattery for the judges.
After the final count by the judges, the engineer's "Jack of all trades" MECHATRONICS was congratulated as the Great Debate Champions of 2013! Places weren't officially awarded but the judges did confide that once again, civil was last. Very last. Jerom Fox, President of the Dean's Scholars Alumni Group said "the civil team are to be congratulated on their participation, which they do well, year-in, year-out." President Fox also confided that the civil team are lobbying heavily for next year's topic to be which discipline would be the best at being civil engineers where they are aiming for a top 3 finish.
There was excellent student and alumni representation in what was the biggest debate yet, with over 75 participants "I'm pretty sure the Dean's Scholars uncovered the most bizarre and imaginative ways to survive a zombie apocalypse," laughed first year Dean's Scholar Kaitlyn Lyons, "not to mention the almost unbearable judge flattery! I'll be there again next year to do what's important – beat the civil team!"
Well done to all the speakers and participants, and a big thank you to the organising committee.
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