On Friday night, over 160 competitors and volunteers converged on campus to participate in the spring iteration of the Waterloo Engineering Competition. Undergraduate competitors, in teams of four, are given a previously unreleased engineering problem and are challenged to come up with a solution within the night.
In Junior Team Design, students had to create a device in four hours to deploy an emergency road across an “earthquake-damaged” roadway. The challenge proved doable but difficult for participants, especially since the road was required to deploy with only a single touch from a team member.
In Senior Team Design, the problem statement took a more light-humoured approach as each team pretended to be “fresh out of Waterloo Engineering” grads with a heavy student debt. The goal was to create a contraption within 6 hours capable of retrieving riches from the side of mountains in order to repay their loans. Many teams, citing problems with the materials given, were able to have a contraption which moved, but few were able to retrieve many gems.
Lastly, in Consulting Engineering, teams were “hired” by the Government of Ontario to investigate ways to reduce energy consumption from commercial and industrial buildings. It was a very open-ended and difficult topic for the competitors who were required to generate a 15+ page report and a 15-20 minute presentation within 5 hours.
After completing their projects late Friday night, competitors were further required to prepare their results overnight for their presentations the next morning. Everyone seemed to have dark rings under their eyes due to lack of sleep as the teams returned to RCH at 7:00 am.
Presentations in front of faculty and industry judges finished up around noon, and the winners were announced shortly thereafter. The teams that placed first in each category will represent the University at the Ontario Engineering Competition in Toronto next February, where if they place in the top two positions, they will progress to the Canadian Engineering Competition next March in Vancouver.
Congratulations to this term’s winners: In Senior Team Design, Shahid Haider – Systems Design Engineering, Benjamin Tan – Systems Design Engineering, Yiling Wang – Systems Design Engineering, Martin Lui – Systems Design Engineering. In Junior Team Design, Kumar Singh – Electrical Engineering, Ayush Kapur – Mechatronics Engineering, Drupandh Manjunath – Chemical Engineering. In Consulting Engineering, Amir Taleghani – Civil Engineering, Caitlin Speicher – Civil Engineering, Matthew Casswell – Civil Engineering, Stuart Pearson – Civil Engineering.
The Waterloo Engineering Competition is held twice each year in the spring and fall terms. The competition is organized by undergraduate engineering students from the Engineering Society with sponsorship from the Society itself and the Sandford Fleming foundation. The Waterloo Engineering Competition is the University’s qualifier to send competitors to the Ontario Engineering Competition to compete against other engineering schools from across Ontario.