Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

StFX engineering students second in national competition

March 7th, 2017
Pictured from left to right are team members Ross Walker, Amy Czuczman, Emma Fudge and Cecil Ash

A team of StFX engineering students has excelled on the national stage, taking home second place in the Canadian Engineering Competition held March 2-5, 2017 in Calgary, AB.

The StFX team—which included Cecil Ash of Cranbrook, BC and Amy Czuczman of Brooklin, ON, both second year industrial engineering students, and first year engineering students Emma Fudge of St. George, NB, and Ross Walker of Ottawa, ON—were given eight hours to come up with a 12-page engineering report and produce a 20-minute powerpoint presentation on a problem they received only that morning.

The StFX team proved more than able for the task, claiming second place in the consulting category of the national competition.

“It was a cool experience to represent StFX on a national scale. It was a great experience to stand up and talk to the judges,” says Ms. Czuczman on the annual competition, which brings together 150 of the most innovative and creative engineering undergraduate students from across the country to compete against each other in one of six categories.

Each competition category challenges participants to expand their frame of reference and identify solutions to problems experienced by the profession. The judges are drawn from related industry fields or academia.

Teams must quality for the national competition by achieving a top performance at their respective regional competitions. The StFX team won first place at the Atlantic championships in Moncton in February.  

The StFX team members say they enjoyed competing in a pressure situation like the national competition.

“I found it was really rewarding to have something to look at, at the end of the day,” Mr. Walker says on the work they produced.

Ms. Fudge says the hands-on applied aspect of the competition was a great learning experience. “The experience will encourage us to participate in more competitions like that.”

For the national competition, Mr. Walker says teams are given a general idea of their topic—this year, the Olympics Games—before the competition. But teams don’t receive the actual problem until the competition starts.

Along with producing a report and powerpoint, teams must make a 20-minute presentation to a panel of judges as well as a 10-minute question and answer session.

In the consulting category, teams were tasked with providing a report on the technological integration and logistics using the scenario of a successful 2026 Calgary Winter Games Olympic bid.

Mr. Walker says their report provided an updated projection for the Olympics Games, including enhancements that ensure Calgary builds on the current infrastructure as well as focuses on the fan experience through new digital technologies, recommendations to ensure that Calgary host a successful games and benefit from the long-term effects of becoming a Smart City. 

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