Strong performance for engineering students at Atlantic Engineering Competition
Engineering students recently competed at the annual Atlantic Engineering Competition (AEC), hosted by Dalhousie University. They performed so well that 13 of the 17 students have earned spots at the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) next month, hosted by the University of Waterloo.
Fifth-year mechanical engineering students Michael Cooper, Luke Tremblett, Brett Vokey and Ian Baggs won first place in the consulting category and fifth-year mechanical engineering students Karen Perry, Amanda Ricketts, Maggie Shallow and Meghan Williams placed second. Fifth-year mechanical engineering students David Grainger and Luke Dyer won first place in the engineering communications category. Third-year computer engineering students Andrew Nash and Mark Duffett and third-year electrical engineering student Frank Walsh won second place in the programming category. The first- and second-place finishes secure a place to compete in the national CEC competition.
“So many wins for Memorial this year felt really good,” said Mr. Cooper. “With the exception of myself and one other, all competitors from MUN this year were competing at AEC for the first time so it was a really huge sense of accomplishment.”
The event is divided into eight competitions – consulting; engineering communications; parliamentary debate; programming; innovative design; re-engineering; junior design; and senior design. For each competition, students presented to a panel of judges for evaluation.
For the consulting competition, students were given a real-life issue and asked to generate solutions that analyze the associated social, environmental, technical and economic impacts.
For this year’s competition, teams were given an industrial engineering question targeted at the Government of Nova Scotia’s Department of Compliance inspectors who conduct food, animal safety and environmental inspections.
“We came up with solutions for 14 issues identified,” said Mr. Cooper. “We grouped issues together that could be solved by any one solution and improved inefficiencies by incorporating new technology that streamlined their documentation process and introduced a culture-enhancement program.”
In the communications competition, students were asked to identify an applicable process or issue and generate a clear argument that analyzes the social, environmental, technical and economic impacts associated with their argument. This year, teams looked at the process of oil and gas development in offshore NL, from the drilling process to the storage of oil once it has been produced.
In the programming competition students are tasked with producing an industry-quality software solution of a given problem. Memorial’s programming team created a web-based application to assist energy planners in designing offshore wind farms. The application plotted wind maps on two embedded google maps, created new algorithms for maximizing wind farm cost/power, and provided a user interface to select between several turbine and maintenance packages.
Advancing to national competition
The students are excited to represent Memorial at the national competition in Ontario next month.
“We are really looking forward to the national competition,” said Mr. Cooper. “Sometimes it can be difficult for students from MUN to compete at national competitions due to the cost of airfare. As a representative of MUN Engineering, the ability to compete, and win, in the Atlantic region against other schools with larger student bodies and more access to funding feels like a huge achievement. We are incredibly grateful to the Angus Bruneau Student LIFE Fund for helping with expenses for this competition.”
“Congratulations to all of our students on their success at AEC this year,” said Dr. Greg Naterer, dean, Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science. “We are very proud to see our students perform so well and we wish them all the best at the national competition.”
Memorial students also competed in the junior design competition.