UBCO First-Year Engineering students showcase skill and innovation at 2024 Design Competition

SOE students work together to tackle real-world problems

Students in the Applied Science 171 course at UBC Okanagan (UBCO) showcased their skills and knowledge in an exciting and fast-paced design competition on April 12—and the topic was one close to home for the campus and the region.

This year’s APSC 171 final design competition centered around the critical issue of climate change: specifically, the urgent need to address and mitigate wildfires.

For students, the design competition was the biggest test of the semester.

“The course offers an immersive learning experience aimed at empowering students to tackle real-world challenges head-on,” explains Dr. Ray Taheri, Professor of Teaching, School of Engineering. “The primary emphasis this year was on combating the escalating threat posed by wildfires. Through a multidisciplinary approach, participants explored innovative strategies that integrated key engineering principles of user-centered design, CAD and CAM programs, and advanced manufacturing techniques.”

As Taheri explains, throughout the duration of the program, students have the opportunity to apply their theoretical knowledge in practical settings, utilizing industry-standard software tools such as Solidworks and cutting-edge technologies like 3D printing.

This hands-on approach enables them to develop functional prototypes designed to offer viable solutions to contemporary environmental problems, particularly those associated with wildfires.

“Students come away from the course with essential technical communication skills. They’re better able to recognize the importance of effectively conveying ideas and proposals within the innovation sector, and are equipped with the necessary tools and techniques to articulate their concepts persuasively and professionally.”

Adds Taheri: “We’re incredibly proud of all the students who took part this year. Well done! Congratulations to all of this year’s winners.”


Top SolidWorks Projects

1st Place:

Group 6 – “Team Valhalla Mountain Resort

Group 66 – “The Last Taxi” *Also won Best Presentation Award

2nd Place: Group 13 – “The Aqua Sweeper

3rd Place: Group 7 – “Weaponized Vehicle


Top Final Design Project

1st Place: Group 50 – “Ember Alert

2nd Place: Group 22 – “Fire Turret

3rd Place: Group 16 – “Firefighting: A Fight Against Time

4th Place: Group 27 – “Project ARIES: Air Refinement Induced Electric System


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