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By Costa Maragos Posted: January 15, 2017 3:00 p.m.

The winning team of second year students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science with their winning prototype at the Western Engineering Competition in Banff, Alberta are (l-r) Emma Fraser, Kaylee Hayko, Kailey Lowe and Tennille Kowalchuk.
The winning team of second year students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science with their winning prototype at the Western Engineering Competition in Banff, Alberta are (l-r) Emma Fraser, Kaylee Hayko, Kailey Lowe and Tennille Kowalchuk. Photo courtesy of Mike Konieczny

A team of second-year students from the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science has catapulted its way to top spot at a major design competition.

The team of four students finished first in the junior design division at the 2017 Western Engineering Competition held in Banff, Alberta January 12 – 15. The Western Engineering Competition has been around since 1985 and brings together leading students from across Western Canada to “practice and exhibit their problem-solving, team-building, and communications skills.”

This year’s theme is collaboration.

The U of R team members are Emma Fraser, (environmental engineering), Kaylee Hayko (industrial engineering), Tennille Kowalchuk (environmental engineering) and Kailey Lowe (industrial engineering). The students will now represent the University of Regina at the Canadian Engineering Competition at the University of Calgary in March 2017.

Engineering Students Prototype
The prototype was required to be designed from typical craft items. The catapult outperformed all other university teams at the Western Engineering Competition in Banff.

“At the awards ceremony, the four of us were very confident in our design and presentation, we were extremely nervous for the results. Hearing that we took first place left us speechless,” recalls Kaylee Hayko. “We are very honoured to be an all women team representing not only the University of Regina but diversity in engineering.”  
 
Competitors were given four hours to brainstorm and build a prototype, which would aid search and rescue missions in the mountains surrounding Banff.  The goal was to deliver supplies to stranded people before rescue personnel could arrive.

That was a tall order given the prototype was to be made from typical craft materials such as popsicle sticks, plastic cutlery, string, cups and clothespins.

The design impressed the panel of industry judges.
 
The catapult was required to shoot supplies to a target at least six metres away. The U of R team outperformed all others, achieving a distance of a mere 14 centimetres from the target.

“Even though our University is of one of the smaller ones in Western Canada it really speaks to our program that we are able to not only compete but outperform many larger schools. We are so proud of our team and cannot wait to compete at the nationals,” says Hayko.

The U of R sent seven teams and a total of 22 students to the competition.

“The Western Engineering Competition brings together students from 13 schools and is extremely competitive,” says Maksym Zabutnyy, President of the Regina Engineering Students Society. “Many U of R teams and projects have gained national and international recognition over the past year, and with this win we hope to continue this momentum and allow our students to display their abilities on such a platform.”

The U of R students were able to compete in Alberta thanks to the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Saskatchewan, the Regina Engineering Students Society and the University of Regina Students Union.
 

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