Western Engineering Competition

Hello and welcome to the Western Engineering Competition, where top engineering students from universities across Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia gathered to compete in the largest engineering competition in western Canada. This year, we competed in various categories: Debate, Communications, Innovative design, Senior Design, and Jr. Design.

For three intense days, the students put their best foot forward, showcasing their talents and skills in their respective categories. The level of competition was high, and the students rose to the challenge, bringing their A-game to the competition.


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Electrical Engineering students Tom Kuzma, Jimmy Bates, Faran Bhatti, and Clinton Gaudet were outstanding, and the team took home first place, earning recognition for their hard work and dedication.

The task at hand was to create a garbage collecting robot that could efficiently clean up the ocean. Participants were given a VEX Robotics kit and had eight hours to design and build a robot that could collect colored hands and place them in the correct colored squares, as well as retrieve water bottles and place them in a central location.

After building the robot, participants had to program it and test it before creating a PowerPoint presentation showcasing their design process and final product. The following day, participants presented their PowerPoint and robot in front of a panel of judges and demonstrated their ability to collect the cans and water bottles within a three-minute time frame.

The garbage collecting robot competition participants encountered several challenges during their design and build process. The specific VEX Robotics model required for the task was no longer in production and proved challenging. Connecting the microcontroller and controller and their computers also presented challenges, as did the need for more necessary components to fully automate the robot.

To address these obstacles, the team decided to build the robot in manual mode, with the possibility of adding autonomous features at a later time. Effective delegation and strong communication proved to be the team's greatest strengths, allowing them to work efficiently within the time constraints of the competition. While the team faced several difficulties during the design process, their ability to collaborate and problem-solve resulted in a successful final product.

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Mechanical and Electrical students Oscar Gutierrez, Yehen Adikari, Santiago Quintana, and Faniel Yemane scored third place in the Jr. Design category, the students demonstrated their creativity and resourcefulness, earning a well-deserved third place. 

Throughout the program, participants learned to work with simple materials and used them in innovative ways to create a gondola that could transport objects across a distance. The project encouraged critical thinking about design and helped participants identify potential challenges and solutions before starting construction.

The process of building the gondola fostered teamwork and collaboration among participants as they shared ideas and skills to create a cohesive and functional final product. The Jr. Design category was a fun and engaging way for participants to develop meaningful design and construction skills while promoting creativity and teamwork.

The gondola project challenged participants to think outside the box and provided valuable learning experience that can be applied to future projects and endeavors. Overall, the Jr. Design catgory provided a valuable opportunity for participants to develop practical skills, engage with their peers, and apply their problem-solving abilities to a real-world challenge.


The communications team also performed exceptionally, taking first place and showing their expertise in the field.

Laurel K. and Ramon Vicencio, both Electrical Engineering students, achieved a significant victory in the Communication category of a competition centered around the "Sea-to-Sky" theme. Their winning presentation involved presenting a current technological topic or issue of their choice and highlighting the issue's social, economic, and environmental impact.

Throughout their presentation, Laurel and Ramon impressed with their outstanding research skills and ability to convey complex technical concepts with clarity and brevity. Their focus on the social, economic, and environmental implications of their topic created a compelling argument for the issue's importance.

Laurel and Ramon's confident and engaging presentation style helped them secure the top spot in the Communication category. Their success highlights their exceptional skills and expertise in both Electrical Engineering and Communication.

Overall, their victory in the competition underscores their talent, hard work, and dedication to their field. Their presentation was a testament to their exceptional skills and promising future in Electrical Engineering, delivered with confidence, clarity, and professionalism.

In a project that required applying their engineering knowledge, team Orca was tasked with designing and developing a product or service that catered to an unmet societal need while demonstrating its feasibility. The project required a fully fleshed-out idea, including a functioning prototype, to be presented to a group of judges composed of experienced professionals in a 20-minute presentation. 

Team Orca advanced the field of wireless power transmission technologies with their innovation in the locomotive transportation sector: Ground Level Magnetic Transmission (GLMT) for light-rail vehicles. This new way of thinking about wireless charging systems was conceptualized with five core objectives in mind: reliability, versatility, resilience, appearance, and, most importantly, safety. Their design offered various unique advantages over existing systems, being an inherently safer and more robust design thanks to its lack of exposed conductors.

One of the key innovations in GLMT was the YurukBertolozzi (YB) transformer, which was a scalable power transmission system that worked by inducing an alternating electromagnetic field across a series of intermittently-spaced ferrite plates. A secondary couple, mounted aboard a modified tram bogie, used the induced field to generate power for locomotion.

Team Orca brought a functional small-scale model of this concept, the Orca GLMT-3 Prototype, to their panel at WEC 2023. Their model demonstrated the design, viability, and safety of GLMT systems. By showcasing the advantages of their breakthrough innovation in wireless power transmission, Team Orca proved the potential for their technology to make a significant impact on the transportation industry.

In the design project, Gabi used vernier calipers to measure physical parts and modeled them to scale on Fusion 360. She carefully considered the tolerances when printing to ensure that the final product would work as intended.

Accurate measurements with vernier calipers allowed for precise modeling in Fusion 360, resulting in a high-quality product that met specific requirements. She then ensured the correct tolerances were used by considering the specific printing process and acceptable tolerances for each part.

Overall, the use of vernier calipers and Fusion 360 proved essential to creating a successful product. The team's attention to detail and careful planning ensured that the final product worked as intended.

Participants developed arguments for or against current issues in a debate competition and competed in a tournament-style bracket to win the match. Each team was evaluated on the strength of their arguments and how well they debated their opponents' arguments, and judges determined the winner of each debate.
Throughout the competition, teams had to continually win to advance through the bracket and come in first. The competition challenged students to think critically, construct compelling arguments, and respond thoughtfully to their opponent's arguments.
Overall, the debate competition provided a valuable opportunity for students to practice their argumentation and critical thinking skills in a competitive and challenging environment.

The debate team participated in a competition and debated against three different teams. Although they gave it their all, they were only able to win against one of the teams.

During the debates, the team displayed strong critical thinking and persuasive skills. They effectively argued their side of the issues and responded to their opponents' arguments with thoughtfulness and precision. Even though they did not win every debate, the team maintained a positive attitude and used each debate as an opportunity to learn and improve.

The experience of participating in the debate competition was highly valuable for the team. They gained experience in constructing effective arguments and responding to opposing viewpoints, as well as the importance of effective communication and presentation skills. Despite not winning every debate, the team learned a great deal from the experience and left feeling proud of their hard work and dedication.

The Western Engineering Competition was a huge success, with students from across western Canada coming together to compete, learn, and grow. The finalists will now have the opportunity to compete in the finals at the University of Waterloo at the end of February, and we can't wait to see what they will achieve.

So, there you have it, the Western Engineering Competition showcased the brightest and best engineering students in western Canada. We hope you enjoyed this year's competition, and stay tuned for more exciting updates from the Western Engineering Competition. Visit our website for more information on this fantastic event.