Terri-Jane Yuzda

Design Achievements Recognized

Mech Masters

Winners of the Glatz Memorial Award for most outstanding design (from left) Katherine Leicht, Alanna Wall andCarly Fink. Missing from the picture is Tanis Wasselink. The team designed a heavy hauler seat for Syncrude.


The University of Alberta and the Northern Lights Chapter of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers once again greased the wheels of future industry success with the annual Capstone Awards, March 26 at the Faculty Club. For the third year in a row, the Capstones recognized the top design accomplishments of students in Mechanical Engineering 465, the fourth-year design course.

The course is culmination of the design syllabus for MecE 465. Student teams tackle design projects suggested by industry and technical societies. Each team must prepare and present a summary of their design project, and professors choose the top three.

On behalf of the university, the Northern Lights Chapter raises funds from industry for the trophies - tabletop models of three-speed gear reducers - and cash awards.

Information on this year's winners follows.

Syncrude Heavy Hauler Seat Suspension
Sponsor: Syncrude Canada
Students: Alanna Wall, Katherine Leicht, Tania Wesselink and Carly Fink
The seat suspension design would alert a heavy hauler operator when vibrations exceed acceptable levels, as well as reduce vibration transferred to the operator. The students designed two ways to modify the current suspension system and improve suspension characteristics. This team also won the Glatz Memorial Award.

Ice Climbing Wall
Sponsor: University of Alberta Outdoor Centre
Students: Peter Radovanovic, Chris Nelson, Evan McCoy and Derek Marshall
The outdoor centre requested a design for an ice-climbing wall for practice and instruction. Project budget is $20,000, for a 15-metre-high wall with a frame, a watering system and a control system. The student project would be maintained semi-automatically, would operate safely with limited supervision, and would optimize the space available.

Thermal Detection System
For Compressed Gas Storage Cylinders
Sponsor: Dynetek Industries Limited
Students: Aaron Tensen, Craig Clark and Craig Metcalfe
Currently, composite compressed gas storage cylinders for use in the automotive industry are protected from rupture due to heat by way of a thermally activated relief valve at one end of the cylinder or every 1.65 metres. The student project addresses the issue of system failure when a heat source increases cylinder surface temperature too far away from the relief valve. A thermal detection system was designed to sense elevated temperatures at any location on the surface, and then vent high-pressure gas through a special vent line in the vehicle.

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