Conestoga news

February 13, 2022 10:40 AM

Conestoga engineering students place first at provincial competition

Four students in Conestoga’s Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Systems Engineering program placed first at the Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC), hosted virtually by the University of Toronto from January 21 to 23.  

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Four students in Conestoga’s Bachelor of Engineering - Mechanical Systems Engineering program placed first in the consulting challenge at OEC. Top L-R: Carrie Chan and Matthew Armstrong; bottom L-R: Thomas Radman and Simon Chisholm.

Matthew Armstrong, Carrie Chan, Simon Chisholm and Thomas Radman represented Conestoga in the consulting challenge and placed ahead of second and third teams from the University of Waterloo and University of Toronto with a solution to improve efficiency and punctuality of subway lines.

“We were challenged to develop a solution for a given real-world problem found in industry,” said Chisholm. “We proposed a system that would see a plexiglass wall with doors inserted between the train and passengers to help eliminate many of the commonly occurring delays subway systems face.”

The System for Managing Access to Rail Travel, known as S.M.A.R.T Wall, provides a transparent floor-to-ceiling barrier with automatic doors to help prevent interference with tracks. The system also incorporates technology to scan occupancy levels on train cars to help improve passenger boarding and alighting efficiency. Before the train arrives, the wall doors will light up with colours corresponding to density, so passengers know which car will be easier to board. The data is also shared through a mobile application to help subway users plan routes with information on arrival times and congestion levels, and allows passengers to request accommodation and accessible seats.

This is the first year a team from Conestoga has competed in the OEC consulting challenge. The group will advance to represent Ontario at the Canadian Engineering Competition hosted virtually this year by the University of New Brunswick from March 11 to 13. In addition to qualifying for the national competition, the team received a monetary prize of $1,500 and a plaque.

An annual three-day event, the OEC welcomes the brightest and most talented engineering students from accredited programs at post-secondary institutions across Ontario to solve unique and challenging problems in various categories. Students are given a limited amount of time to develop solutions and present to judges drawn from related industries and academia. This year’s event welcomed teams from more than 20 post-secondary institutions.

Conestoga is the only college in Ontario to deliver accredited engineering programs: the Mechanical Systems Engineering degree, accredited in 2010, and the Electronic Systems Engineering degree, accredited in 2014. Both feature small class sizes, project-based learning and co-op work experience to prepare graduates for success in their chosen fields.

Visit the School of Engineering & Technology for more information.