Students place 3rd at international precision engineering competition

Western Engineering News | November 11, 2021

ASPE-450x250.pngA team of Western Engineering students recently took part in the American Society of Precision Engineering (ASPE) Student Challenge competition, a professional society that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in design, manufacturing, and metrology.

For this year’s ASPE Student Challenge competition, student teams from engineering schools with a known involvement in precision engineering research were invited to compete.

Western Engineering — which was the only team from Canada, competing against other schools from the U.S. and Hong Kong — took home third place this year.   

“Being our first participation in the competition, our placement is more than meritorious, and the entire team was more than happy to earn a spot on the podium,” said mechanical and materials engineering (MME) professor Dr. Remus Tutunea-Fatan, who co-supervised his team alongside Dr. E. Bordatchev (National Research Council of Canada and MME).

“Beyond this accomplishment, our students demonstrated that the skills and knowledge they accumulated at Western Engineering are competitive, even when broadly tested on a global stage.”

Each team was sent a microscribing machine and was required to assemble the machine and use it to fabricate a series of grooves on the surface of a copper coated silicon wafer. The teams were then asked to use their technical skills to fine tune the microscribing machine.

Teams were judged by a large panel of precision engineering experts from industry and academia and involved two rounds of presentations. One of the requirements was that the whole team not spend more than 20 hours on their project.

Western’s student team was comprised of Jonas Churchill-Baird (MESc student in Mechanical Engineering), Otoniel Rangel (MESc student in Mechanical Engineering) and Honghe (Richard) Wu (4th year undergraduate student in Mechatronics Systems Engineering).

“I am extremely grateful that Jonas, Honghe and I had the privilege of participating in the ASPE Student Challenge,” said Otoniel Rangel, MEsc Candidate. “The competition was definitely challenging, as it included different fields such as mechanical engineering, control systems, and electro-mechanical controls, while also teaching us how to manage a project in a timely manner and work collectively as team. It was intense for sure, but we also never forgot to have fun while doing it.”

“None of this would be possible without the collaborative effort between Western University, the National Research Council of Canada and our supervisors Professor Tutunea-Fatan and Dr. Bordatchev.”