By Ben Macintosh
The senior design team from left is Ryan Stewart, Lucas Gallant, Spencer Lynch and Tharuka Kuruppu (submitted)
A team of students from UPEI’s School of Sustainable Design Engineering have earned a chance to compete on the national level this spring.
In January, UPEI sent a team for the junior design category and one for the senior design category at the Atlantic Engineering Competition (AEC) at UNB. The junior design team placed second and the senior design team placed first.
Both teams qualify for the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) in Winnipeg, Manitoba in March.
Fourth-year engineering student Lucas Gallant was on the senior team. He explained how the category worked — the teams were given a problem, they then had to design a prototype to solve the problem.
“This year the design prompt was to make a backyard air filter for Saint John, N.B. So they wanted us to design a backyard air filter that would redirect in the direction of the wind,” Gallant said to the Cadre.
Gallant added that all their work has to be done in a short period of time.
“So you get eight hours to do all of the design work and you have to prepare a presentation,” he said.
“And then also do some calculations and plan out the full scale design as well.”
Benoit Sampson, Kyle Doiron, Andrew Friedrich and Chad Stewart make up the junior design team while Spencer Lynch, Ryan Stewart, Tharuka Kuruppu and Lucas Gallant are on the the senior design team.
Gallant was also on the senior team that won the AEC when it was in Halifax, N.S last year.
He says the design category highlights UPEI’s engineering program.
“The two design categories actually work very well for our program because our main course load is design,” he said.
Gallant also highlighted the presentations students must give in classes. He says it helps the UPEI teams explain their designs to the judges.
The senior team placed first out of three teams. The junior team placed second out of 15 teams.
Gallant says these results are a big accomplishment for the team and for UPEI engineering.
“It shows that we’re doing good work here and represents our school in a good way,” he said.
Last year, Gallant and the senior team did not place at nationals, but he says the experience was valuable.
“We’re pretty excited about it this year, especially since now we have a feel for what the differences are between AEC and CEC so now we’re a little bit more prepared.”.
Next year UPEI teams will not have to travel far since the School of Sustainable Design Engineering will be hosting the AEC.