Toby Bourke

26 May 2022

Old Collegian Toby Bourke

After completing a Bachelor of Engineering with Honours in Mechatronics Engineering at the University of Canterbury, Toby Bourke has been awarded a PhD Scholarship and stipend by the university. Toby’s PhD studies will investigate the development of a robotic platform capable of harvesting scallops for NIWA. The purpose is to find an alternative to current methods of scallop harvesting, which destroy the environment through dredging.

Toby studied Physics at St Andrew’s, and says his interest isn’t in Science itself, but its practical implementation. “This is why I studied Engineering, as I wanted to use the Science I have learnt to make something new. Doing Physics and Mathematics helped me towards studying Engineering, as these subjects allowed me to explore how I could design something to physically work.”

Toby says former Head of Innovation and Information, Wilj Dekkers, helped him to explore his interest in Robotics when he took over the Vex Robotics Club, and Head of Science, Brent Cummack, helped him to explore his interest of using Science to implement physical systems. After completing his PhD, Toby plans to work either in Aerospace (the space industry) or in a field that focuses on robotics.

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