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Vol 39  No 10
Feb. 22, 2007


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Engineering students win gold
by Kelly Foss

From left: Todd Barbour, Andy O’Connell, Andrew Ronan and John Campbell. (Submitted photo)

An undergraduate student team from Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science took home a top prize at the Atlantic Engineering Competition in early February. The competition, held at the Fredericton campus of the University of New Brunswick, saw a strong showing from two MUN engineering teams. However, the Term 5 team, with members, John Campbell, Todd Barbour, Andy O’Connell and Andrew Ronan, took first in the senior design competition.

The challenge involved creating a device to transport a container of liquid up an incline in an area with strong winds. Their innovative solution to the presented design problem had them using renewable power and was the only one out of 10 participating projects able to accomplish the goal of the competition. The team built a paddle-type windmill that rotated when the fan or “wind” blew on it. This tightened a rope around a shaft between the two paddles and, as the rope shortened, their vehicle was pulled up the incline.

“On top of being the only group that managed to get up the hill successfully with a full load, our selling point was that our project was environmentally friendly and we turned part of the problem into the solution,” said Mr. Ronan

The day’s schedule included 10 hours to design and build the project, beginning at noon, with a PowerPoint presentation of the design’s selling features to be delivered at 8 a.m. the next morning.

“The best thing about the competition was for that day you were an engineer,” said Mr. Campbell. “You were given a problem to solve, build and pitch. The final presentation was worth the most marks and judges could see that you were able to communicate in a manner that made them want to buy your product, but also in a way that was technical. So it was a great experience, and winning . . . well, that looks great on a resume. But it also says great things about the engineering program at Memorial. Everybody at that conference will go home and tell people that students from Memorial University won.”

For their win, the team received $1,000 and an invitation to the Canadian Engineering Competition in Saskatoon in early March.

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