The winning team of the 2013 Engineering Capstone Design Fair.
Michael Grondin/The Gauntlet

Engineers-to-be show off their skills

2013 Capstone Design Fair showcases unique engineering projects

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The 2013 University of Calgary Schulich School of Engineering Capstone Design Fair occurred on April 9. Over 50 teams comprised of fourth-year engineering students developed and designed unique projects to showcase their engineering skills.

In Canada, all fourth-year engineering students must develop a Capstone project. This year was the first time first-year students also participated with design projects.

There was a large variety of projects at the fair, ranging from renewable energy to remote controlled drones.

The event was sponsored by Devon Energy Canada, an independent oil and gas company. Judges from industry and faculty closely examined the projects. Four teams won for their respective fields of study within engineering — civil, chemical, geomatics and electrical engineering — and $2,000 was awarded to the first-place winner overall. 

Fourth-year U of C mechanical engineering student Joel Woo was a member of the winning team that developed an oil field tool handling system to alleviate injuries on job sites.

“We found a way to transport 500-pound tools from the back of a pickup truck to the catwalk of a rig because, currently, these tools are just carried by hand and people are getting injured,” said Woo.

Salam Allami, Ben Campbell, Fahim Thobani, Sylvester Zdonczyk and Woo designed a zip line system that attaches to the back of a truck and to the catwalk of a rig. The zip line allows for the easy transfer of large tools between the truck and the rig — work that previously had to be done by hand.

Woo said he was excited about his project, adding that the Capstone Fair was a great showcase of engineering talent at the 
U of C.

“I am really stoked on all of the projects here,” he said. “It’s really cool to see all of the work that has gone into these projects and all of the different ideas everybody came up with.”

Leader of community relations and community investment at Devon Energy Patricia Etris said the design fair was a chance for people in the engineering industry to see the potential of U of C engineering students.

“It’s a great opportunity for us to see what the students can do and for them to show us their innovative spirit and their entrepreneurial spirit,” said Etris.

Schulich School of Engineering dean Guy Gendron was at the fair. He was very enthusiastic about the diverse range of 

“To me, engineering and design are two words that go so well together. As engineers, what we do is design things that will solve a problem for the society that we live in,” said Gendron. “To make a big party out of design is so much of what engineering is all about and that is what is so exciting about being here this afternoon.”