University of Calgary

4th-year engineering students show their creativity at Capstone Design Fair

UToday HomeApril 16, 2013

From a bicycle that converts into a boat, to a shoe that stores energy, to water treatment in the oil sands, fourth-year students crowded the lower level of MacEwan Hall on April 9 with their final-year design projects in the Schulich School of Engineering Capstone Design Fair.

Hundreds of students, family and faculty wound their way through the rows of displays to see all manner of devices and designs.

One example: an old bicycle converted by Matthew Wagner’s group to produce energy. “The goal of our project was to find a way to produce electricity in the developing world,” he says of the bike that can produce 35 watt hours of power. “It needed to use recyclable materials and it needed to be low-cost.”

Bennett Reusch says his group’s idea was to build rows of solar panels at the city’s SpyHill landfill. “We have optimized how we would use the space,” he says, pointing to the poster that shows the solar farm. “We have tried to use as much space as possible to produce as much power as we could.”

Aleena Dewji’s team came up with a bike that turns into a boat, reaching speeds of 29 km/h on land and 4 km/h on water. “It’s a lot of fun, and it’s very safe,” she says. “It’s very stable. We tested it at a pool and everyone over there was going crazy about it. We even got the lifeguards to ride it around.” See a video of the Bike Boat in action:

One of the visitors making his way through the dozens of displays was Chris Seasons, president of Devon Canada Corporation. He says he enjoyed seeing “engineering come to life” and was impressed with the variety of designs on display.

“All these projects are about solving a problem or proving something and that’s what engineering is all about,” said Seasons. “So it doesn’t really matter what the application is, those skills are transferable to any industry.”

Devon Canada Corporation sponsored the design fair, and for the first time, a formal awards ceremony was part of the event. The judging committee selected a winning team from each department as well as a grand prize winner. The grand prize, $2,000, went to the team from mechanical engineering that developed the Oilfield Tool Handling System. The students are Ben Campbell, Salam Allami, Sylvester Zdonczyk, Joel Woo and Fahim Thobani.


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