UNBC Team Wins First Gold at National Engineering Contest

March 15, 2013
Team to compete at International Engineering Competition in Calgary this September

Last week, four Environmental Engineering students from the University of Northern British Columbia beat teams from universities across Canada to take home the top prize in the Junior Design category at the Canadian Engineering Competition at Carleton University in Ottawa. The group’s submission at the event, which challenges teams with problems of physical engineering, defeated entries from the top eight regional teams in the country.

Canadian Engineering Contest Winners
National Champs (left to right): Kayden Peters, Stephanie Doherty,Kathleen Horita, and Kris Nickerson.

This year, teams in the Junior Design category, which was exclusive to first and second year engineering students, were asked to remove a set of tin foil clots from a card board artery. Each team was given four hours and the materials necessary to devise a solution to the problem, after which a formal presentation and demonstration of a working physical prototype was presented to the judges.

“Our entry was a scissor mechanism being closed with elastics and held open by a balloon with a slow leak in it,” explains second year student Kayden Peters, who is from the Lower Mainland. “We attached extensions onto the arms of the scissors and, as the balloon deflated and the scissors closed, the extensions extended in all directions and depressed the clots. The judges said they had never thought of that solution and found it very innovative.”

Winning Junior Design
Team UNBC's winning design

Unfortunately, the team's winning entry was rather delicate so the team decided not to include it on the trip back to UNBC.

“UNBC gave us the general engineering background and confidence to compete at a very high level in these events,” says Peters, who along with his teammates Kathleen Horita of Vanderhoof, Stephanie Doherty of Prince George, and Kris Nickerson of Vancouver, qualified for the nationals after placing second at the regional competition at the University of Victoria in January. “Our profs at UNBC really helped us and got us ready to compete.”

The team was sponsored by UNBC, Clean Energy Consulting, SNC-Lavalin, Scouten & Associates Engineering, CJ Peter Associates Engineering, Canfor, DWB Consulting Services, Environmental Dynamics (EDI), Gairns Santos Engineering, McElhanney, and Allnorth.

Last year, UNBC placed in the top ten on a list of schools offering undergraduate-level engineering programs in Canada by the magazine Corporate Knights, a national supplement of the Globe and Mail newspaper.

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