Team comes home with two significant awards, including most improved chapter
Students from UBC Okanagan’s School of Engineering came back with big accolades from industry professionals when they attended the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) annual conference earlier this summer.
Fourth-year Civil Engineering students came home with a second place win for their capstone poster presentation. Blake Cloutier, Andre Prohoroff, Kyle Squire, and Matthew Yip, worked for eight months on their capstone project titled the Ross Street Underpass in Salmon Arm. The underpass is being constructed to relieve the traffic delays over the three rail lines that pass through the downtown and lakeshore sections of Salmon Arm. The project was completed in collaboration with R.F. Binnie & Associates; project manager Jeff van den Eerenbeemt, a UBC alumnus, served as the industry advisor to the students.
Each year, the CSCE invites one capstone team from each civil engineering program across Canada to present their poster. Cloutier and Prohoroff were selected by the School of Engineering to represent their team and the came home with the second-place award.
“The win is significant, as we were up against the top capstone teams from various universities across Canada,” says Cloutier. “Each school sends their top team, and to be chosen as second out of 14 other teams was significant.”
Each team is required to present their poster for two minutes, and then answer questions for an additional 13 minutes.
“This is quite the achievement considering that this is only the second year that the School of Engineering has sent a team to the CSCE conference,” says Assist. Prof. Ahmad Rteil, faculty supervisor for the team. “These young engineers are fantastic presenters, and the results of this competition prove that.”
Rteil, who is also faculty advisor for UBC Okanagan’s CSCE Student Chapter, notes along with the second place win — a considerable accomplishment — the school’s professional chapter was also recognized and received the President’s Award for most improved chapter.
The chapter is a student-led organization and just in its second year, membership is now well over 35. The chapter’s success is measured by service to its members and Rteil points out that the UBC Okanagan chapter hosted six software training sessions and brought six different guest speakers to campus, including Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran. The group also organized a site tour of UBC Okanagan’s geothermal exchange and district heating system.
“From humble beginnings last year, the UBC Okanagan chapter is proud of its growth,” says engineering PhD student Tim Abbott. “And the growth of the School of Engineering is reflected in the growth of our Chapter.”