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UNB students head to national competition with innovative projects

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Mar 7, 2018

Category: UNB Fredericton , UNB Saint John

Engineering students from the University of New Brunswick will show off their innovative creations and technical prowess on a national stage as they head to the Canadian Engineering Competition in Toronto this week, including one group that designed a prosthetic hand for children.

Four teams of engineering students from the university’s Fredericton and Saint John campuses took home first place in the innovative design, programming, communications, and junior design track categories at the Atlantic Engineering Competition in January held at Memorial University of Newfoundland in St. John’s.

The teams now move on to the Canadian Engineering Competition at Ryerson University from tomorrow, March 8, through to Saturday, March 11.

A team of fourth-year students competing in the innovative design category will present a 3D printed pediatric prosthetic hand that was developed for their senior design project.

“Many pediatric prosthetic hands only have a pinch force of two pounds and open 20 millimeters wide, which isn’t sufficient for picking up most objects. Our task is to build a hand that has six pounds of pinch force and must open 50 millimeters wide,” says fourth-year mechanical engineering student Andrew Robart.

Second-year mechanical engineering students from UNB’s Saint John campus, competing in the junior design track at the Atlantic competition, took home the win after they were tasked with designing a mechanism to harness wind power to create energy and collect water for the people of St. John’s.

At the nationals, these students will tackle another design problem presented to them on the day of the competition. Dr. Dale Roach, senior teaching associate in the department of engineering on the Saint John campus, is coaching them to help them attack problems they may not be familiar with.

“The engineering department was ecstatic and really proud of them when we heard that they had won the Atlantic competition. It has been a long time since we've sent a team to one of the engineering competitions. They represented us well, and I know they will do the same on the national level,” says Dr. Roach.

A team of third- and fourth-year software and electrical and computer engineering students in Fredericton that took home first place in the inaugural programming track of the regional competition are also headed for Toronto.

“Our programming task was to design a website that extracts data about the availability of solar and wind resources to be used to assess the potential of using renewable energy in a specific location,” says Amir Eldesoky, a fourth-year electrical and computer engineering student. “We’re very pleased to have won the inaugural competition.”

Laura Wishart, a fourth-year civil engineering student in Fredericton and president of the UNB Engineering Undergraduate Society will be presenting on the process of stream restoration in the engineering communications track, where she will be required to speak on the topic for 30 minutes in an easy-to-understand and relatable way.

“I took on this topic for my presentation because it is something that I became passionate about through my civil engineering education,” says Ms. Wishart.

Media contact: Cody Peters

Photo 1: Second year mechanical engineering students took home first place in the junior design track. From left Aven Chiam, Matthew Duguay, Nicolas Matchett and Kelton Ireland.

Photo 2: The Innovative design team placed first in their track at AEC. From left Brodie Theriault, Andrew Robart, Sam Guitard, and Scarlett Taviss.