Calgary Students Break Conference Attendance Record

University of Calgary
Student Contributor


Engineering students do more than participate in activities at their own universities. Several events each year bring together engineering students from across Canada.

One of those is the Western Engineering Conference and Competition, held this time from Jan. 21 to 25 at the University of Manitoba. Teams for WECC came from nine Western Canadian universities to participate.
This time, the University of Calgary Engineering Students’ Society sent a record-breaking 52 people to the conference out of about 150 in attendance. A $12,000 sponsorship drive, in fact, was put on by the U of C to get funding for all the participants.

Spirited Bunch
U of C engineering students exhibit their enthusiasm during the Western Engineering Conference and Competition.

WECC is an event of the Western Engineering Students’ Societies Team, which is a region of the national Canadian Federation of Engineering Students. WESST’s purpose is “to better our student societies through an informal association of information and a sharing of ideas to learn about people and schools involved in WESST,” according to its website.

The conference and competition are a good opportunity for students who might normally have stayed at their university to get out and meet people from all over Western Canada.

WESST also puts on the WESST Olympics, another annual event. The same universities that send teams to WECC send teams to the Olympics, although the Olympics are a purely social event designed for maximum fun and to get people out and doing things with students from other universities.

WECC consists of both a competition part, with students competing with each other in seven different categories covering debate, design and communications topics. U of C teams placed in three of these categories – debate, explanatory communications and corporate design. Our teams were also able to win the spirit award this year.

Two representatives from the university, Jeremy Barretto and Allison Hagerman, were sent to the Canadian Engineering Conference in Hamilton this year. The CEC, an annual event, brings the best engineering students from across the country together to attend seminars and tours, and compete in various categories, much like WECC. WECC is essentially a qualifier for CEC.

U of C Hosts in 2005
Next year, the University of Calgary will host CEC 2005 – one reason why we sent so many participants to WECC this year.

“We wanted to raise awareness and excitement for CEC 2005,” said Ryan Harrison, vice-president external for the U of C Engineering Students’ Society. Hosting CEC is a great opportunity for engineering students in Calgary.

“We are excited at the opportunity to show the rest of Canada what a great city Calgary is,” he said.

EWB Event
March 4, was Engineers Without Borders Day at the University of Calgary and everywhere else where EWB can be found. U of C marked the day with a Bridging the Gap event, put on by the local EWB chapter.

Students were invited to make a donation to the Stephen Lewis Foundation, an organization that provides assistance and support to HIV/AIDS victims in Africa. With each donation, students were given a plank of wood with a statistic about HIV/AIDS on it.

Students then hammered their planks onto a bridge frame to help “bridge the gap.”
In addition, an EWB member in a large foam suit named World Hunger was present. Students who donated could step into the ring to fight World Hunger.

Overall $507 was raised for the Stephen Lewis Foundation, and awareness was raised about HIV/AIDS, world hunger and EWB.


Western Engineering Students’ Societies Team

Engineers Without Borders

Stephen Lewis Foundation


Canadian Engineering Conference

Engineers Without Borders

Western Engineering Conference and Competition

Western Engineering Students’
Societies Team


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