Undergrads win top awards at national engineering contest

Monday, March 9, 2020

Waterloo Engineering undergraduate students captured three major awards at this year’s Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) held this month at the University of Manitoba.

Teams won first and third place in the Innovative Design category and first in the Programming challenge.

Fourth-year nanotechnology engineering students Han Liu, Daniel Stranart and Luke Wiersma took top honours for their project, SMRT (an acronym for Simple Method for Recognizing Trauma) Coat, which is a coating for sports helmets designed to detect concussions.SMRT Coating team at CEC

Team SMRT Coat claimed first place in the Innovative Design category at this year's Canadian Engineering Competition.  Members are from left: Han Liu, Daniel Stranart and Luke Wiersma.

“We are developing an affordable, versatile coating that, upon impact, will visibly change colour,” says Wiersma. “We are designing this around being a spray-on helmet coating to help detect concussions immediately after impact, as about 50 per cent of all concussions go either undetected or worse, unreported.”

Third place in the category went to fourth-year systems design engineering students Christopher Carnduff, Kaitlyn Douglas Diederichs, Thomas Doucette and Roberto Sanchez for their project called Canairy, a wearable air quality sensor to monitor the air pollution in a firefighter's immediate environment.

Canairy is designed to provide firefighters with real-time alerts and as well as documentation of their smoke exposure.

Both SMRT and Canairy were developed as 2020 Capstone Design projects.

First place in the Programming challenge was awarded to Waterloo software engineering students Jasper Chapman-Black, Céline O'Neil and Sean Purcell.

First place in the Programming challenge was awarded to Waterloo software engineering students Jasper Chapman-Black, Céline O'Neil and Sean Purcell.

The team developed an algorithm to simulate a drone reconstructing a broken 3D model, determined how to move the pieces back into place and created a visualization for it.

Top honours in the CEC Programming challenge went to (l-r)  Céline O'Neil, Sean Purcell and Jasper Chapman-Black.

"Our shared experiences in co-op and course work prepared us with the programming and collaboration skills we needed to solve a complex problem under time pressure," says Purcell.

CEC brought together engineering students from across the country who achieved a top performance in four regional competitions held earlier this year.

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