March 2002

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U of A Engineering Students
Victorious in Regina

University of Alberta

The Western Engineering Conference and Competition in January at the University of Regina featured 15 delegates from the University of Alberta, who had the opportunity to enjoy some nice Saskatchewan-style hospitality. While there, the delegates competed in four classes of competition, Extemporaneous Debate, Junior Team Design, Senior Team Design, and Entrepreneurial Design. The delegates also had the opportunity to attend the conference portion of the event, during which they discussed student life and things pertaining to it, and enjoyed some of the nightlife.

What did they bring back from this event? Lack of sleep, a bit of knowledge, and for two of the teams, bragging rights for the next year. That's right, two of our teams placed. The Junior Team Design contingent won gold, and the Entrepreneurial Design Team won silver.

The Entrepreneurial Design Team (the silver medalists), consisting of Graham Buksa, Kris Johnson, Allen Kachurowski and David Kastelan, presented a Mobile Robotic Analysis System. This is an autonomous robot that can gather information about, and in, hazardous environments. The Junior Team Design featured our golden boys Mark Jess, Cole Nychka, Anthony van den Camp and Daniel Vriend . They were given a challenge and only specific materials with which to build their project.
Both of these amazing teams will be going onto the national competition (CEC- The Canadian Engineering Competition), in Laval, Que., later this year, where they will compete for Western Canada. Congratulations to all the participants and especially to our winning teams.

First-Year Departmental Mixers

At the end of the school year first-year students are given the difficult task of choosing their disciplines. Now, as all engineers know, this can be a very difficult. So to help them choose each of the disciplines (and departments) there will be mixers during the first half of March.
At these events the first years get to come meet members of the staff, both academic and otherwise, current students, alumni, and even some people from industry in a casual and, thankfully, low-pressure environment -- after all, it can be a bit daunting to randomly walk up to people from the various areas of engineering and ask , "Hey! What's it like to be an (insert type of engineer here)?"
Most of these events feature free pop and pizza (great for pulling out some of the less social students because, hey, who doesn't' want free food) and are always a blast to attend. We highly encourage both first years and anyone wanting to meet some first years to attend.

GNCTR Heads South

The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race has been a staple of the civil engineering student existence for several years now. What is this you might ask? Well, GNCTR is an excellent opportunity for anyone interested to learn about construction and especially concrete.
GNCTR is a Canadawide competition in which the participating teams must design and build a toboggan that has a concrete running surface. Like the title implies this is also a race and come race day the fastest toboggan down the slope wins.

This year the U of A's GNCTR team has chosen a Mexican theme, complete with sombreros and tequila glasses. This is of course, a complete U-turn from last year's Flinstones theme, but certainly just as much fun. When the competition is in the middle of winter, what better way to brighten things up than with a little touch of Mexico.

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