Engineering students had a successful run at national toboggan race

Feb 16th, 2023

By Jackey Locke

A team of Memorial mechanical and civil engineering students competed last month in the annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race (GNCTR) 2023 in Kelowna, B.C.

The GNCTR is the oldest and largest student-run engineering competition in Canada, challenging more than 450 engineering students to design, build, and safely race toboggans with a running surface made entirely of concrete.

Competing teams are tasked with designing and building a toboggan with steering, braking and capable of carrying five people down a hill. The concrete skis, metal roll cage and the steering and braking systems must all weigh less than 350 pounds.

Toboggans are judged on design, level of ingenuity and innovation and how well it performs on race day.

Team Memorial

The team from Memorial placed high in several categories, including third overall in the main racing event, King of the Hill, out of 12 competing teams. Other third-place finishes include the  braking category for having the third shortest stopping distance and for ski reinforcement.

The team placed second in the Aesthetically-pleasing Toboggan competition, fifth out of 15 teams for their steering design and had the fourth fastest overall run with a top speed of 45 kilometres per hour.


The team from Memorial with their concrete toboggan at the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race in Kelowna, B.C.
Billy Barnes is the co-team lead and while this will be his last year on the team since he will be graduating this spring, he is excited for what the MUN Concrete Toboggan Team will be able to accomplish in future competitions.

“This competition is mainly a mechanical design competition,” he said. “We were applauded by other teams for the function and quality of our mechanical systems. With continued involvement from mechanical students and support from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, I think this team could consistently start placing in the top five in the competition as soon as next year. It almost makes me wish I wasn't graduating!”