Western Engineering students advance to Ontario Engineering Competition 2015

Western Engineering News | February 4, 2015

By Jason Teakle


Alex Breese, a fourth-year Civil Engineering and Business (Ivey HBA) student, is the Western Engineering Competition chair.

Western Engineering students are gearing up to exhibit engineering excellence at the 36th annual Ontario Engineering Competition 2015 (OEC 2015).

Twenty-two Western Engineering undergraduate students on six teams will advance to OEC 2015 at Ryerson University in Toronto from Feb. 6-8, after recently clinching the top spots in the Western Engineering Competition (WEC).

The six teams and their members competing at OEC 2015 – to earn up to $2,000 in prize money – are as follows:

•    Communications: Jacob Green and Mitchell Morrison
•    Consulting: Danielle Aucoin, Laura Perry, Dan Briskin and Corey Early
•    Innovative Design: Hillary Luo, Mofeed Sawan, Peter Nielson and Jolien Van Galen
•    Junior Design: Sameer Rahman, Samuel Kloppenburg, Jeffrey Fitzpatrick and Jordan Principe
•    Programming: Ian Wood, Ryan Holmes, Andrea Zagar and Hannes Filler
•    Senior Design: Matthew Crossan, Graham Griffin, Geoff Hockin and Mark Sinclair

Electrical and Computer Engineering assistant professor Quazi Rahman, who served as one of the competition’s judges, said students who participate in the Western Engineering Competition have the opportunity to learn new skills in a collaborative environment.

“The environment is positive and helpful,” Rahman said. “These students are motivated to do some ground breaking work. The competition excites and motivates the students and it serves as a showcase of their excellent work.”

Alex Breese, a fourth-year Civil Engineering and Business (Ivey HBA) student and this year's WEC chair, said the teams put a lot of time into preparing for the competition.

“The teams had brilliant and creative ideas,” Breese said. “The teams’ members put a lot of effort into what they achieved in the competition.”

Teamwork, staying aware of tight time limits governing the competition, and applying the theory learned in the classroom are the keys to success, explained Breese.

“The most important thing is teamwork in a time-sensitive environment where students apply their learning in a hands-on forum,” explained Breese. “Theory is important in school, but WEC teaches students to use those skills in a practical, competitive and fun learning environment. We received valuable and helpful guidance from the judges who are our professors and practicing engineers.”

Breese said there is a wide range of tasks involved in the competition for students to complete.

“This year, for example, the consulting team made a (mock) presentation on behalf of Tesla Motors,” Breese said. “They were judged on communicating very complex, technical information in simple, clear language.”

If successful at the provincial event, Breese said the Western Engineering team members would set their sights on victory at the Canadian Engineering Competition, which takes place at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL, from March 5-8.

“At the end of each competition, we look back on the great times we had,” Breese said. “I have a lot of fun helping with running it (the Western Engineering Competition), and I’m happy about what everyone gets out of the competitions.”