It’s all about bragging rights at the annual Engineering Design Competitions
First- and second-year Engineering students at UBC’s Okanagan campus are gearing up for the annual year-end Engineering Design Competitions this week. First-year teams will put their can crusher machines to the test on Thursday, and on Friday teams of second-year students will race hovercrafts they’ve built.
Engineering One takes on a can crusher challenge
Thursday, April 4
What: Can Crusher competition
Who: Engineering One teams
When: Thursday, April 4, at 1 p.m.
Where: Richard S. Hallisey Atrium, Engineering, Management and Education Building, 1137 Alumni Way, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna
Using skills learned in their first-year Fundamental Engineering class, students compete in teams of five or six to build a machine that will crush cans.
“Throughout this competition our first year students demonstrate their meta skill and problem solving ability,” says Senior Instructor Ray Taheri. “The theme of the competition is to design and engineer a can crusher machine with five distinct mechanisms—loading, sorting, counting, energy transformation, and crushing, within specific weight, size, and budget constraints.”
While there are prizes, and the students are graded for their can crushing machines, it’s also all about bragging rights for the first-year teams.
“It will be exciting, entertaining, and educational to watch our students demonstrate the fruit of their hard work through the last several weeks while they compete to become members of our engineering design Hall of Fame,” adds Taheri.
Hope floats for the Engineering Two hovercraft challenge
Friday, April 5
What: Hovercraft racing
Who: Engineering Two teams
When: Friday, April 5, at 9 a.m.
Where: UBC Gymnasium, 3211 Athletics Way, UBC’s Okanagan campus, Kelowna
With a limited budget and only paper, balsa wood, no more than four propellers and a few battery packs for supplies, second-year Engineering students are busy constructing hovercrafts for Friday’s design challenge.
Senior Instructor Vladan Prodanovic says the students must design and construct a hovercraft that can carry at least one kilogram while it races across the gymnasium floor at top speed and weaves through an obstacle course. Energy efficiency is as important as speed, so each craft’s energy consumption will be measured in a lab prior to the races.
The challenge is part of the Applications of Engineering Design course, however, Prodanovic notes that students will need to apply skills they have learned throughout the year in courses related to Fluid Mechanics, Mechanics of Materials, and Electric Circuits.
Performance testing—the actual racing and time trials—gets underway at 9 a.m. in the UBC Okanagan Gymnasium’s north court, followed by poster presentations from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., and award presentations at 1:30 p.m.
The public is welcome to attend both competitions and cheer on the teams.