Congratulations Engineering Physics students Jenny Yang (2nd from Left) and Andrew Dworschak (R), and Mechanical Engineering students and Connor McFadyen and Allan Ng on their 2nd place finish at the Western Engineering Competition in Banff and second place in the Canadian Engineering Competition 2017!
In the Western competition, teams of 4 had 8 hours to prototype a solution to a given engineering challenge which tests mechanical, electrical and programming skills, time management and teamwork. Teams then present their solutions to judges using real-world justifications and test the prototype according to specific functional requirements.
The challenge was to build a “Smart” Bridge to replace the George Massey Tunnel in Richmond. The bridge had to perform certain functions such as open for boats to pass through, warn people about earthquakes or accidents, and account for rush hour and any accidents.
This year’s competition really tested our ability to apply engineering concepts to a real-world application. It wasn’t solely a display of our technical skills, but rather an evaluation of how well we could overcome obstacles and justify the decisions we made. We knew we were taking some risks, but we were confident enough in our reasoning to pursue them, and this really paid off in the end! Being from Alberta, it was great to go back and compete in Banff! I had a wonderful time with my teammates, as well an extremely rewarding experience with the entire UBC team. I look forward to competing in Calgary in March!
We got to the competition by winning in the UBC engineering competition for senior design which is pretty much always won by Engineering Physics. That one was about building a robot so the summer of year 2 is perfect experience for that competition.
Unfortunately for us, none of our team was in Civil engineering, which means that we weren’t very prepared to make a well-constructed bridge.
But we managed to make up for our shortcomings, and more, in the presentation through great cooperation and teamwork, and using the technical communications skills that get emphasized in the Engineering Physics program! The 2nd year robot competition is really an invaluable experience to have in these events.
The Canadian competition was really interesting. We were tasked to build a remotely controlled robot that could manage a nuclear meltdown. One big difference was that the remote control was done through a Bluetooth receiver, which ended up being quite the challenge to have the robot respond well! This was our second time qualifying for the CEC, and it was great to build on our experience from last year.
Our challenge was to build a robot that could collect and bring released fuel cells to containment zones, activate a kill-switch, and finally return back to safety. The robot had to complete these tasks in 2.5 minutes. We had 10 hours to design, build and test this robot. We also had to give a 15 minute presentation to judges, as well as test the robot on the playing field.
Having had previous experience with VEX robotics kits and Arduino programming, our team felt quite prepared to take on the given task this year! Although we ran into quite a few challenges during the design process, we remained adaptable and determined, allowing us to power through in the end! Since I grew up in Calgary, it was great to go home and compete on familiar soil. I had an extremely rewarding experience with both my Senior Design team, as well as the rest of the UBC contingent!