Architectural Engineering Students Competing in 2023 TimberFever Competition

Friday, September 29, 2023

Last weekend, from September 22nd to 24th, a group of University of Waterloo Architectural Engineering students participated in the Timberfever Design Build Competition at Toronto Metropolitan University. Celebrating its 9th anniversary, Timberfever is an annual competition funded by Moses Structural Engineering and sponsored by 30 leading architecture, engineering, and construction firms.

This year, the Architectural Engineering Waterloo contestants included Jingyi Zhang (first year), Renee Hinton (second year), Izzy Hersak (second year), Tina Hu (second year), Lucy Kraychyk (second year), Soo Song (second year), and Kerwin Ho (third year), forming a talented cohort of participants. Overall, approximately 90 contestants from various universities including the University of Toronto, Toronto Metropolitan University, McGill University, McMaster University, Carleton University, Laurentian University, and York University, competed in this challenging event.

Randomly grouped with undergraduate architecture students from other universities, three University of Waterloo students made their mark in the competition. Team 3, composed of Izzy and Soo, secured second place, earning a well-deserved cash prize of $1000, while Team 2, with Kerwin, clinched third place, earning them a cash prize of $700. 

One of the unique aspects of Timberfever is the mentorship provided by industry professionals, including carpenters, architects, and structural engineers specializing in timber construction from all corners of Canada. This mentorship allowed the students to gain invaluable hands-on experience, expand their professional networks, and hone their communication skills.

The design challenge set for this year's competition was to conceive and construct an accessible bus stop within a limited supply of wood materials, all within the confines of a 6' by 8' space. Additionally, the teams had to ensure that their designs could withstand multiple strength tests, all within a tight 30-hour timeframe. Each Waterloo student was placed in different teams as the Engineers (in teams 1,2,3,4,8, and 13), collaborating closely with their Architectural counterparts to create visually appealing designs that were structurally sound within these constraints.

The competition process encompassed various stages, including concept design, construction design, actual construction, and an 8-minute presentation to the panel of judges, making it a comprehensive test of both creative and technical skills.

For more details about the Timberfever competition, or to vote for a project for the People’s Choice Award, please visit their official website at