Still part of the best student experience

Matt Johnson, BESc’11 (Civil Engineering with Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate)

By Allison Stevenson | April 19, 2013

As an undergraduate student, Matt Johnson, BESc’11 (Civil Engineering with Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate) jumped feet first into the best student experience at Western; his feet have remained there ever since.

“I immediately became involved with orientation week as a soph,” he explains. “After having such a great welcoming experience in my first year, I was excited to jump into the shoes of my mentors and give that experience back to first-year students.”

Johnson’s extracurricular involvement did not end there.  In second-year, he became a member of the Western Engineering Toboggan Team (WETT).  In this role, Johnson applied the technical knowledge he gained in the classroom to a physical project.

“It was an incredibly rewarding experience to further my study,” he explains. “The non-technical experience I gained through working as a member of a team, managing workloads, delegating tasks, and even facing political challenges were extremely valuable. These are skills not simply learned within the classroom.”

Now, two years after graduating, Johnson is back to offer current Engineering students across Canada the opportunity to experience the same rewards and learn the invaluable team skills he acquired by participating in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR).

Johnson, along with a number of other Western Engineering alumni and current Western Engineering students, is an executive member of the GNCTR 2014 organizing committee – bringing the competition to Western University next year. 

“I decided to join the organizing committee because I want to ensure students are provided the same great experiences that I was fortunate to be a part of,” explains Johnson.  “Plus, while I was an undergraduate student, I grew from the position of general member, to team leader, to co-captain; it seems to be a natural progression to help organize the national competition.”

Currently a Designer with Entuitive, a consulting engineering firm with a vision of bringing together engineering and intuition, Johnson finds his role on the GNCTR 2014 organizing committee a great way to diversify his skills.

“Currently, I am undertaking a technically focused role at work,” explains Johnson.  “My position within the GNCTR 2014 organizing committee allows me to continue developing my communication skills.”

GNCTR 2014 will bring over 400 undergraduate engineering students from across Canada to the City of London.

Students will arrive in London on Wednesday, January 29, staying at the Hilton London until Sunday, Feb. 2. The presentations, judging, and formal events will all take place at the Hilton.

The competition itself will take place at Boler Mountain, just minutes away from downtown London.

“Our organizing committee is extremely excited to be hosting the event for the first time in London,” says Johnson.  “We look forward to welcoming students from across the nation and, with any luck, from across borders.”

The competition is open for public viewing at Boler Mountain on Saturday, Feb. 1. More information: