Western Engineering students place first at Canadian Engineering Competition - Consulting Engineering category

By Mphatso Mlotha | March 17, 2011

The best and the brightest engineering students in Canada gathered March 10 -13, 2011 at McGill University for the 2011 Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC).

A group of four Western Engineering students competed in the Consulting Engineering category, bringing home the first place trophy.

“We qualified to compete at the Canadian Engineering Competition by placing first at the Western Engineering Competition and second at the Ontario Engineering Competition in the consulting engineering category,” explains Western Engineering student, and CEC competitor, Meredith Conrod. “We were proud to represent Western at McGill.”

Fellow Western Engineering teammates Sarah Goodridge, Adam Spadotto and Jeet Zandawala joined Meredith at the competition.

“Sarah, Adam, and Jeet are in the concurrent Business and Engineering program, which provides them with great skills when it comes to working under pressure, and coming up with feasible solutions,” explains Meredith. “We are a multidisciplinary team, which gives us a wide range of knowledge. We are very good at giving presentations, and that really helped our case.”

To prepare for each competition, the students were given a general topic seven days in advance, enough time to gather any necessary research. For the CEC competition, the students were given a topic that could relate to either nuclear or hydroelectric power.

“To help us prepare for CEC we looked to previous competition presentations,” explains Meredith. “That helped us get a better grasp of what problems we may be asked to solve.”

At CEC, the team was challenged to develop a feasible solution, within an eight hour period, to counteract a hydroelectric dam in Northern India that was overflowing due to heavy monsoons and some damage.

“We had to tackle several aspects of this problem including coming up with a plan for nearby residents, a plan to fix the dam, and get the dam generating power again,” says Meredith. “The deliverables were a twelve page report, a twenty minute presentation, and a short ad to raise money for the disaster relief.”

The designs and development process were presented in a press conference format the following day, to a panel of judges. The teams, eight in total, were judged on their ability to come up with a sustainable solution that considers the economic, environmental and social impacts of their proposed solution.

“Working together for the third competition in arrow enabled us to assess each others’ strengths and skills,” explains Meredith. “I think that is one of the reasons we were so successful in the end.”

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