Conestoga news

June 6, 2024 9:14 AM

Conestoga engineering students place first in electric-vehicle challenge

Conestoga’s newly founded electric vehicle team joined a challenge hosted by the University of Waterloo for students to showcase their engineering skills.

Electric vehicle team.jpg
Conestoga’s newly founded electric vehicle team joined a challenge hosted by the University of Waterloo for students to showcase their engineering skills.

The rookie Conestoga team placed first among the participating colleges, undaunted by the rainy race day weather on May 25 at the university campus. They came in third overall, completing 29 laps.

The team included: Devon Ernest, Jackson Facer, Prince Gulati, Alexander Irwin, Besart Kalezic, Geroge Large, Jesse Russell and Zoe Talbot.

The Waterloo Electric Vehicle Challenge is open to high school and college students, with the assistance of their technology teachers or mentors. Teams are required to design and build battery-powered vehicles capable of carrying a driver the maximum distance on a single charge in two endurance races: 12 volts and 24 volts.

The students spent three months working on a 24-volt vehicle, each bringing unique skills and enthusiasm to the project, said Talbot, who is also an engineering student ambassador at Conestoga.

“The Conestoga Electric Vehicle Team is incredibly proud of what they have achieved together. The first-place win is a testament to the hard work, collaboration and innovative spirit. We’re already looking forward to future competitions, eager to push the boundaries of our engineering skills and create even more impressive vehicles.”

Countless hours were spent designing, building and testing the vehicle, boasting features including an aerodynamic design and efficient power system. The team's innovative use of lightweight materials and modular battery system set their vehicle apart, demonstrating a high level of technical expertise and creativity, Talbot said.

The challenge was not just about building and racing, but also a comprehensive learning experience in which the students honed their skills in teamwork, problem-solving and time management.

“Participating in the challenge provided invaluable hands-on experience and a deeper understanding of the practical applications of classroom learnings,” Talbot said. “This real-world experience was a testament to the ability to apply theoretical knowledge in practical scenarios.”

First-year Mechanical Systems Engineering student George Large was grateful for the opportunity to lead the design of the vehicle, with the team supported by Conestoga faculty.

“We learned so much and had a lot of fun. Coming in first place for colleges was a great bonus, validating our efforts,” Large said.

Professor Daniel Strype from the School of Engineering & Technology said it was a great pleasure to be a part of the team.

“Supporting this group of students was a refreshing reminder of just how special Conestoga’s engineering students really are.”

They really impressed Strype with their ingenuity and determination when the 24-volt race was cancelled due to the inclement weather, which the Conestoga team was slated to compete in.

“Our brilliant team members in no time rewired the car to run the 12-volt event. That was an amazing accomplishment by itself,” Strype said.

And the students already have plans to compete again in the race next fall.

Conestoga’s School of Engineering & Technology offers a comprehensive suite of programs with a wide range of credentials in areas including architecture, civil, construction, mechanical and electronics. Conestoga is Ontario’s only college to offer fully accredited engineering degrees.