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May 7, 2018 7:54 AM

Capstone projects compete for top prize at Tech@Work

An electrical test bench to accommodate both motor and battery testing was named the top winner at Conestoga’s annual Tech@Work showcase, held May 1 at the Cambridge campus.

Conestoga College - Tech@work 2018.JPG
Energy Systems Engineering Technology students Andrew Dookram, Shane Carr and Samuel Butella displayed their winning test bench at the 2018 Tech@Work showcase.

As winners of the showcase, Energy Systems Engineering Technology students Samuel Butella, Shane Carr,  Andrew Dookram and Oleksandr Panchenko will receive the college’s Mastercraft Award at convocation this June. The award was established in 1980 by former Conestoga president Kenneth E. Hunter and includes a cash award of $1,000.

Tech@Work features the best final year projects from 18 technical programs at Conestoga. During the showcase, students demonstrated their work to family, faculty and industry partners, and explained the scope and challenges involved in completing the projects. Each project captured the full set of skills acquired by the students throughout the course of their programs.

The winning test bench was completed as part of a larger Energy Systems Engineering Technology applied research project with industry partner Electrical Tractor Inc. (ETi). The one-of-a-kind electrical test bench is used for a combination of both motor and battery testing and can be scaled and applied to various electric vehicles, fork lifts and automobiles to provide a system where motors, batteries, wire harnesses and controllers can be mounted, connected and tested. A customizable test bench allows components to be tested and changed in the pre-prototype stage to lower cost production.

Student Andrew Dookram was hired to work on the overall ETi project, and was joined by Samuel Butella, Shane Carr and Oleksandr Panchenko at the start of the Winter term to begin development of the bench.

“Many challenges were overcome as a group, but the greatest challenges were having the chuck machined, the structural considerations and welding the brackets that mounted the motor,” explained Dookram. “All of these tasks were not at all typical for energy system students and truly tested our research and technical problem solving skills.”

Dookram added that the overall project will enter its third phase this May and the test bench will be a vital piece of equipment to test and confirm calculations on new motors and batteries to guarantee the most efficient operation.

Other projects on display included a display cabinet designed and built by Woodworking student Duckjo Sung, a student residence design completed by students in the Architecture Construction Engineering program, and Pathfound -- a digital role-playing platform completed by Information Technology Innovation and Design students.

Visit the School of Engineering and Information Technology for more information about its programs.

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