News and Events
Volume 1 - Edition 11
April 2005
First-Year Engineering Design Showcase
Friday, April 8

There is no need to worry if you saw smoke coming from the Great Hall Friday, April 8.  It was part of a first-year engineering design display to simulate a  nuclear power plant.

A total of 360 first-year Western Engineering students showcased their interactive designs at The Great Hall, Somerville House. In addition to the nuclear power plant simulator, other projects included: solar powered roller coasters, a small robotic car with artificial intelligence, a system that automatically changes oil in a car, and a rotating chair used to demonstrate conservation of angular momentum, just to name a few.

Team CAMEL (Conservation of Angular Momentum Engineering Ltd.) explained that their rotating chair uses the same principals showcased in figure skating.  "When you spin with a wide circumference you tend to go slower than if you pulled everything in nice and tight," reported one group member. 

Elisabeth Bowering, another member of Team CAMEL, was happy to demonstrate.  She sat on a wooden seat that was attached to two long wooden arms.  A team member checked to make sure she was level, and then she was off.  As Elisabeth started to pull on a cord attached to the wooden arms she began to spin.  As the arms pulled up tightly around here she began to spin faster, demonstrating conservation of angular momentum.


Western Engineering’s new design course is excellent," added Elisabeth. "It enables first-year students to gain experience in actual engineering design, rather than just taking the regular math and science courses.  This year we were challenged to design an interactive display to explain an engineering or scientific principle to the general public.  It was really exciting to see our projects made and displayed.”

Also participating in the First-Year Engineering Design Showcase were two groups of students from Lucas Secondary School.  Team Induction, consisting of David Jeong, Nathaniel Sherry, Servesh Varma and Nalini Bhup, built an exercise bike to show the principles of electromagnetic induction.  The group explained that their bike uses the Dynamo Effect to transfer kinetic energy to electrical energy.  When asked if working on this project would encourage them to enrol in engineering the response was a unanimous yes.  "Just look around you," said David.  "Look at all the cool projects you get to work on."


Nuclear power plant simulator

Robotic car with artificial intelligence

Team Kamchatka: Tele-surgery simulator, using a robotic car with a mounted wireless video camera

Team Perpetual Motion: Making hybrid cars more efficient

Team ENG-ERY Designs: Demonstrating various alternative energy dveices

Team Rail Gun Powered Roller Coaster: Showcasing how magnetic fields can propel an object

Team Rollercoaster: Using solar power to lift an object

Team CAMEL: Demonstrating conservation of angular momentum

A device used to show propagation of sound waves

Team Induction (Lucas S.S.): Generating electricity using an exercise bike


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