Undergraduate engineering students at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) are solving the industry's biggest problems.

At least, that's the premise of a program called The Maker Games.

Three months ago, industry giants such as Westfield, Rebel Sport, Commonwealth Bank and Telstra submitted their curliest problems to the program.

The result?

Almost 1,000 UNSW engineering students signed up - and 17 teams have been beavering away for the past 12 weeks ahead of the program finale.

The finale, on Saturday, will see submissions presented in front of participating companies, which will determine the winners.

The winner will receive a $25,000 all-expenses-paid trip to California to visit Silicon Valley icons and new start-ups.

UNSW engineering dean Professor Mark Hoffman said the program aims to address real world problems.

“Engineers are not made like they used to be – students now need to be entrepreneurs and develop ideas and solutions to real-world problems, from which many of them either launch their own start-ups, or become part of emerging companies.

“That’s the inspiration behind The Maker Games,” he added.

“We have industry partners with really wicked problems, and we match them with the brightest engineering students in the country – and large numbers of them – who are keen to apply the knowledge they’ve gained at UNSW to solving real world problems."

Five experienced industry specialists – with backgrounds in areas such as wearable computing, chemical engineering and internet-of-everything (IoT) devices – have also been on hand to help the students during a three-day ‘hack session’ earlier this month.

The showcase and finale for UNSW’s The Maker Games is being held on Saturday at the University of New South Wales from 3pm-7.30pm at Leighton Hall, Scientia Building, Kensington campus in Sydney.

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