Engineering Now .: Volume 2 - Edition 5 .: November 23, 2005

Student engineers a new product for hockey

(photo: introductory image for the site)
Alex Dolson, second-year Civil Engineering student, shows off his family's new product outside the Thompson Recreation Athletic Centre.

Hockey is back. Back with new rules and Alex Dolson suggests it should also take on a new look.

"My family and I have invented a new product to make hockey safer," says Dolson, a second-year Civil engineering student. "Stik-Rak makes carrying hockey sticks from the house to the car to the arena safer and much easier."

The Original Stik-Rak (R) (also commonly known as Stik-Rak), is a product that Dolson and his family designed and brought to life using hockey sticks as handles and nylon material for the backing. It is a portable tool to help coaches, trainers, players and parents easily carry sticks through crowded rinks. Players also benefit from Stik-Rak because it is a place to store sticks, eliminating the hazards of loose sticks on dressing room floors and behind benches. Most importantly, Stik-Rak solves the problem of carrying sticks in an awkward manner. Coaches and trainers can carry up to 16 hockey sticks and still have one hand free.

"People no longer have to worry about sticks getting loose in the car and breaking a window, or slipping out from under their arm as they walk across the icy parking lot to the arena," explained Dolson. "Stik-Rak makes it easy for a hockey player of any age or size carry sticks."

Developing and producing Stik-Rak has been a real learning experience for Dolson, assisting him inside the classroom and out.

"In my engineering first-year design course we were tasked with a project to develop something innovative that helps," says Dolson. "At the time, my family and I were just having Stik-Rak patented so I thought I had it made, but the professors told me I couldn't use it for my final project because it wasn't fair to the other students."

"Even though I couldn't use Stik-Rak for my project, I still learned a lot in the class that I could bring back to my family for our product," Dolson further explained. "In class we learned about design notebooks, arranging meetings and developing prototypes. It was great to see the theory behind what I was doing with my family to create Stik-Rak."

Stik-Rak has recently been picked up by R.J. McCarthy Ltd. and the company has made the product available for the Canadian retail market.

"Stik-Rak retails for $149.99 and is available in red, blue and black," says Martin McCarthy, president of R.J. McCarthy Ltd. "We have an NHL team currently testing the product and we're planning on expanding this program in the near future."

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.: Allison Stevenson
Spencer Engineering Building, Room 2074
Telephone: (519) 850-2917 Fax: (519) 661-3808