Engineering Students Win for Social Awareness

March 12, 2008 - Campus Bulletin

University of Guelph engineering students won the Social Awareness Award in the Canadian Engineering Competition held this past weekend at the University of Waterloo.

Second-year students Kathryn Loog, Krista Read, Laura Robertson and Randi Phinney competed in the junior design category where teams had to solve a design problem by applying basic engineering principles.

For this competition, students had to design and build a bridge from pasta, string and hot glue that could hold a certain weight. The prototype was to represent a walking bridge designed for women in Ghana carrying items to and from the market.

The students were given four hours to come up with an innovative solution. In developing their design, they had to be mindful of social, economic and environmental factors. Competitors then had to present and demonstrate a working prototype of their design to a panel of judges.

The Guelph team placed fourth out of the eight teams in their category, but won the award for having the most socially conscious design in the competition. Their bridge design used few resources, had minimal impact on the environment and considered the needs of the women.

"We are honoured to have won this award for the University, as we feel that Guelph cares deeply about social and environmental issues," said Phinney. "We owe a lot to the professors we have had who have allowed us to become well-rounded engineers who are able to think about all of the necessary factors when approaching a problem, including environmental, social and economic factors."

The team was eligible for the national competition after placing second in the junior design category at the Ontario Engineering Competition held at McMaster University last month.

Guelph will be hosting the provincial event next year.

University of Guelph
50 Stone Road East
Guelph, Ontario, N1G 2W1