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April 9, 2013 3:31 PM

Engineering students achieve top honours in provincial competition

A group of four Conestoga engineering students demonstrated the effectiveness of project-based learning as they achieved a top-three finish in the Ontario Engineering Competition 2013 held early in February at McMaster University in Hamilton.

The annual competition brings together the top students from Ontario’s 16 accredited engineering schools to compete in one of six competitions, including junior design, senior design, parliamentary debate, communication, consulting, and innovative design. Engineer.jpg

Conestoga, home to the province’s only accredited, college-based engineering degree program, competed in both junior and senior design competitions. Senior team Alyssa Neudoerffer, Tom Neudoerffer, Peter Toenders and Ryan van Veen, students in the Mechanical Systems Engineering degree program and all first-time competitors in the event, faced off against teams from 15 Ontario universities in the design challenge.

With limited materials and preparation time, senior design teams were challenged to design and build an autonomous resource collection robot for use in rural communities in Africa. The robot was to be programmed to search for food, water, and fuel. As well as meeting technical requirements, designs were also evaluated on social, economic, and environmental criteria in keeping with this year’s theme of Engineering Complete Solutions. Each team was required to make a presentation that included a demonstration of the robots on a test track as well as discussions of their design philosophies to a panel of expert judges.

Based on their evaluation, judges presented the Conestoga team with third-place honours: first place was awarded to the University of Toronto, and second place went to Royal Military College.

Other participating universities included Carleton, Guelph, Lakehead, Laurentian, McMaster, Queen’s, Ryerson, UOIT, Ottawa, Waterloo, Western, Windsor and York. The 2014 competition will be hosted by the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa.

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