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Two UM Engineering Teams Heading to National Virtual Competition

During this unprecedented year, students from the Price Faculty of Engineering have once again demonstrated their excellence during the Western Engineering Competition (WEC). WEC 2021 took place virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was facilitated by the University of Yukon. This year, Price Faculty of Engineering students took home first place in the impromptu debate, second place in senior design, and third place in the programming. First and second place winners of WEC go onto the Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC), which this year will be hosted by the University of New Brunswick. This year’s theme for WEC is “Guiding the New Normal”, and although it looked much different than in-person engineering competitions, it was a welcome opportunity to connect with other students from the region before and during the competition.

The two-person Senior Design team, comprised of students Laura Stoyko and Mila Lobato de Faria, were given the challenge of proposing solutions to limit COVID-19 transmission on public transit, as well as repurposing 3M’s new personal protective equipment (PPE) manufacturing facility beyond their 2026 contract. Their first solution involved dividing passengers into risk-based tiers and to limit contact. Their second solution repurposed the material used in N95 masks for the medical textile and air filtration industries. While developing both solutions, Laura and Mila placed a heavy emphasis on the United Nation’s Sustainability Goals and the “real world” feasibility. The team placed second overall in the category.

Nathan Wilson and Braden Ganetsky represented the impromptu debate team and they participated in a total of four debates. Topics ranged from animal testing, to prayer in public schools, and the legal sale of human organs. The team won all but one of their debates and will join with the senior design team at CEC 2021.

The programming team included Manjyot Kalkat, Ayden Offenloch, and Owen Burland and placed third in the competition.

The Price Faculty of Engineering extends our congratulations to each team that competed at WEC and wishes the best of luck for those advancing to the Canadian Engineering Competition.


Author’s Note

Both teams later attended CEC virtually, hosted by the University of New Brunswick. Laura Stoyko and Mila Lobato de Faria of the Senior Design team place over 2nd in their category and received the silver medal, and Nathan Wilson and Braden Ganetsky of the impromptu debate team placed 4th overall in their category. We congratulate each of the teams on their performance at CEC and for representing the Price Faculty of Engineering on the national stage. 


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