Lego Masters Andrew and Harry’s absurd ideas!

The engineers are having a mind-blowing time

Perhaps it’s from writing long dissertations in two undergraduate degrees that made Andrew Battley a wordsmith. Being able to spin a good yarn is definitely a skill his Lego Masters NZ teammate Harry Duncan admires.

“Andrew’s story-telling abilities are amazing,” Harry enthuses. “We’d finish a build and he’d have dreamed up some long back- story that was so rich and full. He was very good at selling what we did. He has a wild imagination and a great sense of humour.”

Harry is equally fond of his Lego-building buddy: “Being able to bounce ideas off him and have him tell me, ‘No, that’s an impossible idea. Let’s adjust that in this way.’ That would bring me back down to earth, plus he also has absolutely absurd ideas!”

Andrew (left) has some great yarns, says Harry.

The two 25-year-olds met at high school and then studied engineering together at the University of Auckland, doing a year-long project designing a blast chiller that wouldn’t leave ice crystals on frozen food bound for export.

“We were doing practical experiments and computer simulations to estimate how much energy we could save by changing the shape of the shelves in the freezer,” Andrew explains.

Harry became a product development engineer at a medical device company afterwards, while Andrew has gone on to complete two degrees and is now nearly a year into a PhD.

“I did both chemistry and mechanical engineering as my undergraduate degrees,” tells Andrew. “I’ve blended them together to look at both the fundamental chemistry behind whether we can recycle silicone and the practicalities of how we might actually achieve that in a way that works in a recycling plant.”

Despite both loving blocks, they hadn’t built together before Lego Masters and had to talk each other into auditioning.

“Uni taught us how each other handles stress and how to communicate with each other,” shares Harry. “But building Lego was one crucial thing about the show we didn’t really know how to do together.

“I didn’t quite comprehend how hard the work was going to be. It still feels like playing, but they’re long builds and you have to remain focused on that challenge throughout your entire build.

“The best part of it was just getting to go through that experience with a group of people that was so passionate about Lego. It is a high-pressure, high-intensity experience, but seeing everyone else’s builds makes for great bonding and great learning.”

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