Department of Engineering Science

New Zealand Engineering Science competition

This is our annual problem-solving competition for teams of secondary students. Organised by the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Auckland, it's sponsored by Orion Health and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. If you take Year 12 or 13 maths or science, get together with a team of 3-4 people and step up to the plate!


2017 competition registration

The New Zealand Engineering Science Competition returns on SATURDAY, 5 AUGUST from 9am-6pm!

Join our 2017 competition and be in to win $6,000!

How to register

  1. Download, print and compete the paper registration form.
    Each team member and the teacher needs to sign this form. This signifies that each team member has read the instructions and T&Cs for the competition and agrees to them. Click here to read the competition rules.
  2. You now need to use the same information on the printed form to complete and submit this online form.
  3. Email a soft copy of the completed/signed paper form to, or mail it to the provided postal address.

Submissions close on FRIDAY, 28 JULY 2017.

Contact us at if you have any questions.



2016 results

The 2016 question was “What is the fastest humanly possible time for the Olympic 100m freestyle event?”



The Pullan Prize for first place ($6000)
Team 1089 from Saint Kentigern College (Year 13): Kevin Shen, Henry Mellsop, James Hansen, Cameron Low

Runners up ($2000 for each team)


Highly commended

  • Team 1007 from King's College (Year 13): Amay Aggarwal, William Wang, Max Wilson, Luke Hindmarsh
  • Team 1027 from Kristin School (Mixed Year 12/13): David Cui, Hyeongjin Kim, Tina Zhang, Felicity Qin
  • Team 1066 from St Paul's Collegiate, Hamilton (Year 13): James Krippner, Blair Foster, Craig Stocker
  • Team 1099 from John McGlashan College (Year 13): Louis Jennings, Luke Nie, James Anderson, Matthew Dockerty
  • Team 1119 from St Cuthbert's College (Year 12):Noor Al-Shamma, Amy Song, Stacey Tian, Joia Che
  • Team 1169 from Scots College (Mixed year 12/13): Andrew Tang, Freddie Strauss, Brendan Patrick, Henry Fox
  • Team 1174 from Sacred Heart College Auckland (Year 12/13): Heinrich Metzler, John Gorham, Conor Nelson, Daniel Koenigsperger

The competition


The annual New Zealand Engineering Science competition is a problem solving event for teams of senior secondary students organised by the University of Auckland's Department of Engineering Science, and sponsored by Orion Health and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare. This fun and challenging competition is for teams of three or four Year 12 or 13 students who are interested in mathematics and science.


The first prize is $6,000, and there are two runner-up prizes of $2,000. 


We'd like to extend our appreciation towards our sponsors, Orion Health and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, whose generous contributions help to make this competition possible.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare logo1

Questions from previous years

“If a New Zealand student uploads a video clip that goes viral, how long will it take before 1% of the world’s population has seen it?” (2015)

"If Mount Taranaki erupted, how much would it cost the aviation industry?" (2014)

“How many balloons would be required to provide balloon-powered internet coverage to all of New Zealand?” (2013)

"In the event that electronic tracking is unavailable, what size search area is required in order to retrieve the capsule?" (2012)

"If a severe Tsunami warning was issued, how long would it take to evacuate the 13,000 people who live on Te Atatu Peninsula?" (2011)
"How much fuel is required for a manned mission to Mars?" (2010)

"Could New Zealanders save enough electricity via energy efficiency improvements in homes to avoid New Zealand requiring an additional power station being constructed?"  (2009)


Useful information