RMIT engineering students have collaborated with Auslite to develop an energy efficient LED street light as part of an Engineering Learning Factory project at the RMIT Advanced Manufacturing Precinct.
The Auslite project was aimed at designing the next generation of LED street lights for the Australian market.
Professor Aleksander Subic, said that using RMIT’s Advanced Manufacturing Precinct (AMP), students were able to design an LED street light comprised of a few essential components: the housing; LEDs; optics and driver electronics.
“A particular benefit from exposing students to this facility is that all students, both local and international, have a unique opportunity to explore and use technology they would otherwise not be able to find anywhere,” he said.
Auslite spokesperson, Jeannie Bredberg was impressed with RMIT’s facilities.
“Choosing a university for this project was made easy because of AMP's focus on advanced, high value-add products.
“Our street light is an ideal match for the facility's prototype manufacturing abilities and the R&D schedule has allowed us to take time with students to really support their learning and growth and to help us achieve our goals.”
The process for developing next generation LED street lights required both practical and commercial considerations.
Students use a 3D model, 3D lens and 3D LEDs to simulate how the opticals performed under varying conditions.
Benjamin Gregor, who is studying Associate Degree in Engineering Technology (Mechanical), worked on the housing which was machined out of a single aluminium block.
“From the client point-of-view it needed to be something they could sell and they had specific ideas about what the industry wanted.”
Yue Zhi Law, who is studying Bachelor of Engineering (Mechanical Engineering), appreciated the improved learning experience of a project with an industry partner.
“Working with industry adds a different perspective – which is something that I really appreciated.
“The most rewarding part is learning something new and gaining confidence from it.
“To see the light up in the streets – well that would be so amazing.”
Working in a setting where students get to put theory into practice is a key part of RMIT’s program structure and helps develop a practical appreciation of their chosen profession.
“Students are gaining far more experience and far more real capabilities that they generate and discover while they're working on those projects in such environments than they would ever do in a classroom,” Professor Subic said.
RMIT offers fully accredited engineering programs in aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, electronic, management, environmental, mechanical, automotive, mechatronics and manufacturing.