The U of A Glider Team hopes to fly
beyond its recent second-place finish. The top spot, members
say, is a realistic goal.
Though the University of Alberta Glider Team is only two
years old, it's already soaring high in both achievement and
acquisition of experience.
In January of 2001, the Canadian Aeronautics and Space Institute
made a visit to the university. It was then that student Chris
Fleming became interested in its annual free flight competition.
Under Chris's leadership and under the direction of Dr. Brian
Fleck, the U of A Glider Team was born.
During that year, the team could have been considered the
underdog. After all, it was four months behind the other universities,
which began in September. The team was small and quickly built.
And U of A had never before participated in the competition.
Taking these factors into account, the team arrived at a reasonable
goal: to have a glider built for the competition that May.
After completing the glider, the team was ready for the free
flight competition, held that year in Ottawa. Dorothy Fan,
the glider team's project leader, said that this first competition
gave the team a wealth of knowledge and experience - and the
chance to see what other universities had done in their designs.
This experience paid off. The team travelled to Toronto the
following year, and this time placed second overall. The competition
attracted nine teams from eight universities.
They came from Laval University and University of Toronto
in the east, U of A in the west, and points in between. Each
team was marked on three components: an oral presentation
on the glider, the time of flight with a payload, and the
written report. The purpose was to see how the teams applied
academic knowledge to real-life situations. These exercises
required them to brush up on their communication and presentation
This year the team hopes to take home top honours at the free
flight competition. To achieve its goal, members have begun
initiatives to both enlarge the team and to gain sponsorship.
A paper airplane/glider design competition will be held this
year to help generate interest. The glider team will also
put on a Christmas party after final exams to raise funds.
Concrete Tobbogan Racers
For the first time in nine years, the Great Northern Concrete
Toboggan Race will be held here at the University of Alberta.
The five-day event, which runs Jan. 29 through Feb. 2, 2003,
is expected to attract more than 600 students from 25 different
universities in Canada and the United States. The race, which
began in 1974 at the U of A, is the oldest engineering competition
The competition consists of designing and building a toboggan
whose running surface must be made of concrete. It must also
be able to hold five riders, and have a weight of 300 lb.
or less. Of course, a safe braking system and a roll bar are
also essentials for the toboggan.
One of the main events of the five-day competition will be
a tech exhibit for the public at West Edmonton Mall. This
year, the U of A team is starting a new initiative to reach
out to high school students. Participating high schools will
build their own concrete toboggans. One week before the university
competition, the high school teams will compete in an event
put on by the U of A.
Sponsorship is especially needed for these events. See the
contact boxes within this article.
Want to sponsor or contact the team?
Project Leader Dorothy Flan, Co-Leader
Want more team information?
Want competition information?
CONCRETE TOBAGGAN RACE
Want to sponsor U of A's hosting of the Great Northern
concrete Tobaggan Race? Gregg Broks
Host Committee Fundraising Coordinator
Want to sponsor the U of A team?
Want to know about the team and competition?
Third Annual Engineering Career
The Engineering Students' Society's third annual career fair
is scheduled for Friday, Jan.17, 2003. This event has been
well attended in the past, and we're expecting even higher
turnout in the future. The career fair is a wonderful way
to get in touch with thousands of engineering students.
In last month's issue I stated: "all first-year professors
teaching an engineering course will have
" The sentence
should have read "all professors teaching a first-year
engineering course will have
" I apologize
for any confusion this may have caused.