STEM Case Challenge

The Challenge

Embark on a journey of learning. Test your potential. Explore innovative and futuristic approaches.  Experience what it's like to work as an Engineer, Innovator or Analyst even before you step into the industry.

Powerco is presenting you with a first-ever chance to solve one of the biggest challenges in the business.

During Powerco's STEM Case challenge you will work in teams of three with at least one female member. The team will engineer solutions and tackle major business challenges with an opportunity to present your revolutionary solutions to business leaders at the Finals Night.

Participate in the Powerco STEM case challenge and not only will you have the chance of a guaranteed paid Powerco internship for the upcoming summer but all participants will be seen and judged by Powerco executives who are always looking for talent.

Finalists (up to three teams) have the chance to win $200 cash prizes.

Wondering why you need at least one female member in your team?

Read on







                                                                     Click to register today!

STEMpower Her

Empowering Women to Future-proof New Zealand

Women are still under-represented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) in New Zealand. We have a long way to go before women are equally represented in these fields.

How do we make strides to achieve our gender diversity goals and empower the next generation of female leaders?

We are at a transitioning phase where STEM education and knowledge is crucially impacting and transforming our everyday lives.

Powerco is packed with passionate people who thrive to solve these challenges. Through this initiative, we emphasize the importance of busting stereotypes and supporting Women in STEM.

By working with at least one female member in your team, you play a peripheral role in every step we take to future-proof New Zealand.

Meera Viswanath Shanthy
Graduate Electrical Engineer

My mission is to empower the next generation of STEM leaders by developing their passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. I strive to fulfill this mission through my initiative STEMpower her through which we can foster a self-growth mindset among women by providing valuable opportunities that enable them to test and develop transferrable skills. Powerco’s STEM Case Challenge 2019 being our first step of this initiative provides a chance for students to unlock their potential and use futuristic approaches to solve a real- industry challenge.

Most importantly, encouraging men and women to work together as a team to experience how being inclusive can improve a team’s success.

I graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Auckland University of Technology in 2018. I joined Powerco as a Network development Intern and moved on to the Graduate programme. Ever since I have been receiving invaluable mentoring which has provided me with professional socialization and personal support to facilitate success at work and beyond.

I encourage everyone, from first-year students to Alumni to participate in the Case Challenge for a rewarding experience which is guaranteed to help you heighten your career aspirations and provide endless opportunities.

Brigitte Colombo
Chief Information Officer

I am passionate about promoting STEM because I believe that technology will have an accelerating and positive impact on our world. My hope is that the Powerco STEM Case Challenge will encourage more people to pursue a career in STEM because it is hugely rewarding, a growing job market with exciting new disciplines (data scientist, digital designer, etc) and I want to see New Zealand Inc excel through our inherent creativity and love of technology.

More than 30 years ago, I chose to study land surveying. I liked the idea of being a female “pioneer” as at that time there were only three registered female surveyors in New Zealand. From surveying, I quickly moved into Computer Science and created a successful career with loads of variety and international travel. Now back in New Zealand, I work as Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Powerco. There are less than ten female CIOs in the country. We are successful because we excel at influence and collaboration which is essential to drive information technology (IT) adoption.

To get to the Executive level, you need to be able to achieve through others and manage political situations so take on leadership roles early, develop your business acumen and keep developing your emotional intelligence too.

Alexander Spiers
Planning Team Leader - Western

I support Women in STEM primarily, which has also developed my understanding of the incredible career opportunities in STEM industries today.

I grew up with five strong professional women who achieved high-level qualifications and/or careers in STEM-related disciplines. I understand the subtle yet important viewpoint delta that exists between men and women in STEM workplaces. Teams that have diversity are more successful at old school practices and forging innovations.

From a heavy engineering background spanning two decades, two countries and four industries, I am passionate about quality asset management structures and respectful engaged teamwork built upon sound STEM knowledge and a community ethic.

As Team Leader of Western Planning at Powerco, we apply STEM foundational theory to build practical heavy electrical solutions and create opportunities for technology to improve our network of the future.

I encourage school and university students to be brave, immerse themselves in STEM, work with as many agile minded women and men of STEM that you can and I know you will find a fulfilling career pathway awaits.    


How do I get a team? Where/when/how can I start? Read on

Competition Process & Key Dates

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Registrations are now closed

Launch night
Launch night Icon

The Launch Night was a great success!

It was awesome to see so many enthusiastic students ready to take on the challenge!

Workshop session
Workshop session Icon

We had a great turnout at the workshop session.

Our team of Data Scientists and Engineers presented to the students and were asked lots of great questions!

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Submissions have now closed

Finalists announcement
Finalists announcement Icon

The finalists who presented their ideas to our Executive team on finals night were: 

Team 3 - Daniel Eduardo, Kelvin Wong

Team 26 – Tivarsh, Kelly, Kishalay

                            Team 40 – Maham, Micah, Muteb

                            Team 13 – Saad, Nithin, Esther

                            Team 4 - Kenneth

Finals night
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Finalists presented their solutions to a panel of judges comprising of Powerco's Executives and AUT lecturers on Wednesday 18 September.

Congratulations to the winning team - Team 13 - Saad, Nithin and Esther 

Members of the winning team will be joining us at Powerco in November as our Summer Interns 

Individual Eligibility

Criteria to participate in Powerco's STEM Case Challenge 2019 at Auckland University of Technology: 

  • All AUT students enrolled in either Bachelors, Masters or Post-graduate diploma majoring in STEM
  • Alumni are welcome to participate if graduated in the last 12 months and are interested in working at Powerco.


Note: Before submitting the registration form, please review the key dates and confirm your availability to attend the events. 

Since this is a team challenge please be conscious of your cooperation required as it may affect the other team members.

Team Eligibility

To be eligible to participate in Powerco's STEM Case Challenge 2019 at AUT you need to .

  • Each team must have a maximum of three students.
  • with at least one member studying towards an Electrical Engineering AND one team member studying towards either Software engineering or Analytics or Computer Science or Information Technology or Information Science AND the third member studying towards any STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) major.
  • with at least one female member in each team. Note: You can specify your preference of team members if you have any. However, Powerco will group team members based on the above conditions( wherever possible) to ensure every team has a strong set of different skills and knowledge.
To learn more about the submission process and judging criteria on....



Each member of the winning team will be awarded a paid Summer Internship with Powerco at the Finals Night.

The Judging Panel will comprise of Powerco's executives and Auckland University of Technology lecturers.



Each member of the three runner-up teams (as decided by the judging panel) will be awarded a $200 Prezzy Card (Runner-up Prize).



Award Certificates

All other teams submitting their work as per submission guidelines by 11.59pm Tuesday 3 September 2019 shall receive award certificates and an opportunity to engage with Powerco’s executives at the Finals Night. To be eligible to receive this, teams must attend both Launch Night and Finals Night. 

Work Submission

Please click here to view the Case Challenge Terms and Conditions. 

More detailed instructions on submission guidelines will be updated here when registration closes.

Judging Criteria

Values are an important part of shaping how we act within Powerco. They define the types of behaviors and actions that will contribute to the success of Powerco.

Our values are: Safe, Trustworthy, Collaborative, Intelligent, Conscientious and Accountable.

A full breakdown of our values and behaviors can be found here:

Your solutions will be judged on how well it aligns with Powerco's values above as well as the following attributes which are challenge specific.

  • Approach
  • Research
  • Scope / limitations
  • Investigation
  • Conclusions
  • Written report
  • Data
  • Ingenuity, creativity, and originality
  • Teamwork
  • Leadership
  • Communication
  • Thoroughness


1. What is the STEM Case Challenge?

A competition that brings together students from different majors in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics to solve a real industry problem in our company. In the workforce, different engineers and technologists brainstorm together to solve challenges. Through participating, you challenge yourself to collaborate, working as a team, analyze risks and innovate.  

2. When do I need to be available?

 Attendance is compulsory for the Launch Night and Finals Night with your team to be eligible to receive the certificates of participation and other prizes.

3. Can I change my team?

Powerco will finalize the teams and email every team member. No team change requests can be made after that.

4. What do I need to bring? 

For the launch night, please bring your laptops, mobile phones, team members and most importantly your enthusiasm, energy and thinking caps!

If you forget anything, don't worry! There will be tons of other things to do.


If you have any other questions or expectational circumstances that might affect your participation OR if you are interested to collaborate with us in the future, Please get in touch with:

Meera Viswanath Shanthy

Graduate Electrical Engineer

Email -

Chris Neal

HR Recruitment Advisor

Email -