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EE/Mechatronics: Develop a Logic engine/software to calculate temperature rise in power switchboard

B&R Enclosures

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Closed Posted: 26 Oct 18. Closes: 28 Nov 18 Available: Summer vac + Semester 1 (Dec - Jun)

UPDATE 14/12: a student has been appointed to this project

Summer vac + Semester 1 2019 project

** PLEASE NOTE - UQ students are not able to apply for projects starting over summer, this year. UQ & CEED are in the process of finalising a new client & student agreement to cover UQ students on CEED projects, from now on. Unfortunately the agreement won't be finalised in time for a summer start project. Please look out for Semester 1 only projects - and apply for those **

This project will suit final year / Masters level Electrical / Electronics / Mechatronics students
 - who can enrol in final year thesis or Masters project in Sem 1 2019. 

The successful applicant will receive a $6,000 scholarship + academic credit - thesis / Masters project enrolment (24cps-QUT, 2units - USQ).

APPLICANTS NOTE - you must be available to work on this project over Summer vacation 2018/19 (5 days/week) + 3 days / week during Semester 1 2019 (working around your lecture timetable for Sem1). This project will be your final year thesis topic / Masters project - enrolment/assessment in Semester 1 2019.

APPLICANTS MUST INCLUDE (in your CV): student ID number, your unofficial academic transcript/s on final pages of your CV (undergrad + current Masters, if applicable), including Semester 2 subject list (without results). 

Location: Heathwood QLD
Categories: Electrical Engineering, Mechatronics Engineering

Project Background / Description

For compliance with the new AS/NZS61439 Standard it is incumbent on B&R to ensure that all switchboard designs comply with this standard.  To do this B&R has conducted both approval testing and internal ratification testing to ensure that any switchboard designed does not over heat.

Currently there is a lot of reliance on the knowledge of specialised individuals who use various means to determine the best switchboard design.  Even with the best effort it is possible to have high degrees of variation from one design to another.  It is also possible that errors occur due to gaps in knowledge and changing regulations.

In more litigious society it becomes far more critical to ensure that switchboards are designed and built to standard.  For example with current switchboard designs temperature rise is seldom calculated which can lead to failure due to overheating.

In Australia (it would be similar in other countries) it is LAW that electrical installations are designed, built and maintained to a standard set out by AS/NZS3000 the “Wiring Rules”.  To this end the Wiring Rules call up AS/NZS61439 standard for the design and verification of switchboards.  This 61 series of standards places the emphasis of responsibility on the original equipment manufacturer to ensure compliance, this means that the liability predominately comes back to B&R.

Therefore this project is focused on developing a software engine that can take standard input and compute expected temperature rise within switchboard enclosure systems.  The engine must also be able to integrate the design to ensure no illegal permutations are being used.  It is envisaged that at a later date a graphic interface could be created that then uses this Logic engine to verify/calculate these temperature rises.  The engine would also need to follow a rules based format to ensure that combinations of equipment and switchboard designs are possible.

Currently B&R has a spreadsheet that does much of this calculation however it is envisaged that this Logic engine will take this basic functionality and extend it to ensure future compatibility of the engine to newer products introduced over time.

The maintainability of the Logic engine is also a critical requirement.  It should be broadly able to manage new products and updates to equipment used.


With over 60 years experience, B&R has built a reputation for excellence in the design and manufacture of enclosure and cabinet solutions. Everything we have learned in that time, we’ve poured into our products and relationships.

As an independent, 100% Australian family-owned and operated business, B&R champions the virtues of quality, service and value. Combined with our unrivalled industry and application knowledge, we are in a unique position to meet the needs of our clients.

The company encompasses four divisions: B&R Industrial, B&R Data ICT, B&R Hazardous Areas and B&R Residential Commercial. Each division has a focus on unique needs of different market segments. Together these divisions share the strengths, resources and experience of the founding company to provide attentive customer service, innovative design and superior quality products at a competitive price.

Objectives / Tasks / Project Outcomes

The major objective would be to analyse our current spreadsheet to map its functionality and then determine gaps in functionality and operations.  This knowledge needs then to be applied to create a standard temperature rise Logic engine that can be used more generally with other interfaces.

Envisage tasks will be:

  • Analysis of AS/NZS61439 standard and understanding of how it applies to switchboard systems.
  • Interrogate our current spreadsheet to determine functionality
  • Determine where the gaps are with our current spreadsheet 
  • Develop and understand the rules for the application
  • Develop the software architecture for this Logic engine
  • Develop this Logic engine
  • Define all interface requirements
  • Fully document the development to ensure maintainability by B&R staff

Desired outcome will be a fully documented and functional temperature rise Logic engine with well defined inputs and outputs.

Skills / Experience Required

The ability to understand and develop a software application that can be used to calculate temperature rise within power switchboard enclosure/cabinet application is important.

Ideally an Electrical Engineering knowledge would be useful however general electrical knowledge would be adequate.  It is more important to be software skilled as B&R has Electrical Engineers that could mentor any candidate.

Suited to final year / Masters level Electrical, Electronics and Mechatronics Eng students (thesis or Masters project units).

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