Design & Technology Excellence

Year 12 student, Warren Rogan, completed his VCE Systems Engineering project, ATOM, in 2019.  ATOM is a life size robot that was designed to mimic Warren's movements.  Not only did Warren Rogan do exceptionally well in Systems Engineering last year achieving a Study Score of 45, but he also was successful in being accepted to have ATOM displayed at Top Designs, Melbourne Museum.  This is an huge achievement as Warren is in a very select group of one of eight students from the whole of Victoria that will also have their work on display at the museum.


Warren embarked on this mammoth undertaking at the start of this year.  He remained focussed and put in many hours to achieve the A+ for his Unit ¾ project.  It wasn’t without hiccup though as Warren tells of much trial and error and broken limbs and joints through overexertion.  Warren also comments on how the project gave him in insight into how the human body works, “especially in regards to how muscles work that you would not expect to be functioning, i.e. while lifting an arm there is a lot of work keeping the body straight and preventing it from overbalancing”. 

Warren’s original brief for ATOM (Advanced Threat Omission Machine) was to be a robot that could go into dangerous places such as war zones or natural disaster zones thereby not endangering human life.  ATOM operates via an umbilical cord that connects to an exo-suit that Warren wears.  The exo-suit senses Warren’s movements and ATOM moves accordingly, albeit only arms, waist and head at the moment but Warren intends to have him walking soon.

Warren is no stranger to the Design & Technology department and has been excelling since Year 8 by setting himself above the rest and 3D printing parts for his Year 8 project.  He went on to do Electronic Products in Year 9 and then started VCE Systems Engineering in Year 10 (a year early).  Over the next year Warren is going to continue working on ATOM with a view to getting it to walk on its own and then after Year 12 he intends to study engineering.

This was not the only ambitious Systems Engineering project this year – Year 12 student, Matt Wepener, created a scale model of an active wing-suit, for which he also achieved an A+.  Matt’s ambition is to fly, not in an aeroplane, but like a bird.  The scale model has a wingspan of 1.4m and responds to the wearer’s movements by sensors and servos.  It is Matt’s intention to create a full-size version that you strap to a pilot’s back – watch this space!


Systems Engineering teacher, Chris Jones, says, “It has been an absolute pleasure teaching and pushing the boundaries with Matt and Warren this year whilst watching the comradery and competition between the two.”

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