THERE were more than a few fingers crossed at the unveiling of the latest Rube Goldberg Machine at Charles Sturt University on Thursday.
As is traditional, the latest intake of engineering students at the university were given the challenge to create the machine - which is a series of elements and steps that interact to perform a final task - as their first major exercise.
And then they had to hope all went to plan when a crowd gathered at the engineering building to see the final product.
"We had never met each other before - we only met during O Week," student Brianna Duncan said of her fellow students who took part in the challenge.
"We were put together in random teams and we've all gelled well.
"It [taking part in the challenge] builds that teamwork that CSU engineering is all about."
Reid Noyes and Ryan Marr were part of the team that built the final step in the machine, which lit a candle to celebrate CSU engineering's birthday.
They said it took them about three days to come up with the initial concept and they had worked on their section of the machine for about a week.
Lighting the flame was "inherently risky", they admitted, but they said the team had no choice but to make it successful.
"We are the last bit that people see, so it kind of just has to work," Mr Noyes said.
Foundation professor of engineering Euan Lindsay said each of the machines is themed according to the Chinese lunar calendar, so this year's machine recognised the Year of the Rat.
He said the machine also included specific "carry over champion steps": "specific elements of machines from previous years, as well as new innovative steps the students create".
Elements this year included a vibrating phone, a fan, a Coke can and a mouse trap.
Mr Lindsay told those who gathered on Thursday that the engineering course aims for its participants to see themselves as student engineers rather than students and this first challenge helps achieve that.
The cake lit by the Rube Goldberg Machine was for the course's first birthday because it began on February 29, 2016 - the last leap year.