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September 5, 2007 2:22 PM

Tech Showcase of Student Projects

After months of tweaking and testing, reworking and redoing, Conestoga College's School of Engineering and Information Technology students were finally ready to show off their year end projects.

The ATS Engineering Complex building of Conestoga's Doon campus filled up on Tuesday, Aug. 14 as industry professionals, prospective students, family and friends came out for the annual Conestoga Tech. Showcase of student projects.

Design and Analysis student, Paul de Boer designed a parallel link dozer which goes on the front of a grader for his final project. He said everyone picks a project for their final year; they research it and apply what they’ve learned in the previous two years of the program. They go through the project step by step, analysing each section, then they take the raw data and make a report about it and produce all the drawings, said de Boer.

When comparing a design project to a report, de Boer said, "You can’t fake your way through it, you’re forced to learn it, as opposed to a report where you can just write about something.”
Some of the other design and analysis projects included a home gym, a four post car lift, a paintball gun and a firewood processor.

Ryan Knee who designed the firewood processor said his project is designed to take trees of various lengths, cut them into logs and turn the logs into firewood. "We started at the beginning of the design process, (the project) taught you how to go about designing something and when mistakes are made, how to change them,” said Knee.

The Robotics and Automation third-year students created three different projects in groups of nine to 10 students. The first group designed and built an automated work cell to manufacture a three CD box set assembler and packer. The second group designed and built an automated work cell to manufacture and fill tissue boxes. Preston Drennan who worked on this project said everything they’ve learned since they started the program had to be applied. The third project was an automated work cell for manufacturing golf ball key chains. Steve Innanen who worked on the key ring project said it feels good to be done.

The Tech. showcase also served as a final presentation of the projects for the degree programs.
Integrated Telecommunication and Computer Technologies (ITCT) student, Brent Cormick, demonstrated his team's second-year project, a mobile robot platform that uses a micro-controller designed and built by the students. The robot receives and responds to DTMF (dual tone multi frequency) tones allowing it to obey instructions sent from a remote location. Third-year ITCT students, Bryon Hummel, Jason Rose and Brad Curliss demonstrated an automotive diagnostic and monitoring system that allows for secure management and viewing from any internet connection in the world.

A small group of Architecture - Project and Facility Management students showed off their project; a design of an administration centre complex for the City of Guelph. Student, Mike Maiorana said they had a lot to consider for their final project including the budget, the mechanical systems, the space and even heritage requirements like a heritage wall that they had to incorporate into their design.

The third year Integrated Advanced Manufacturing Technology students have worked to develop a RIM Blackberry Automated Work Cell. It consists of loading and unloading the Blackberry’s, testing the front, side and top keys, downloading the software, dispensing and applying a label to the Blackberry and a final product/reject management station. Student, Eric Wright estimates it takes RIM about 10 to 15 minutes to complete this entire process for one Blackberry using human operators. The goal of the automated work cell is to complete two per minute, he said. Rob Smith, liaison officer for the degree programs, said "(RIM) sponsored the project and in turn we made recommendations for their current processes.”

The fourth year Integrated Advanced Manufacturing Technology students split into groups to design a product and a plant/factory to produce the product in. They had to consider the budget, the amount of employees and machines they would need and how much profit they would make. Student, Matt Hiskett worked in a group of 10 students to design a helix windmill. He said their company would start off with 15 employees; five of them would be general laborers. For the first year, they plan to construct about 100 windmills and by the third year, they plan to produce 300 windmills. If the windmills sell, the company will be bringing in a five per cent profit, said Hiskett.

Hiskett said you learn a lot more when you actually get to design a project. "Before this project, I knew that windmills generated power, I knew that they were high, that was basically it. I didn’t know a lot about them but now after completing this project and doing a lot of research on it, I’ve learned how to construct one from the ground up,” he said.

Hiskett said that showing off their projects is great for job opportunities since employers come to the fair and is also good for getting people into the program. Students who just graduated high school or are going to graduate from high school get to see what they can do in their final years, he said.

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