Students stand proudly by their ergonomic seats, that already have manufacturers interested in making them. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Students stand proudly by their ergonomic seats, that already have manufacturers interested in making them. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Camosun mechanical engineering project solve real-world problems

Showcase included projects that confound conventional wisdom, garner industry interest

Mechanical engineering graduates from Camosun College demonstrated their final research projects, with some gizmos even confounding accepted conventional wisdom.

The 2019 Mechanical Engineering Technology Showcase saw around 50 students show off their designs Friday at the college’s Centre for Trades, Education and Innovation.

ALSO READ: UVic’s cutting-edge centre leading the way in drones and AI

The students applied their learning to 12 different projects focused on solving real-world problems. The projects were sponsored by industry with some already earmarked for further development.

As well as completing their regular class and course work, the students spent up to 2,400 hours on each project, often putting in 80 hours a week developing responses to the challenges.

Some included projects that confounded conventional wisdom. For instance, it is widely accepted that mash once finished distilling spirits, such as gin, needs to go to landfill or needs a lot of dilution to be composted effectively. However, students secured sponsorship from industry, researched the problem and built a machine that dries and then converts brewers’ spent grain into combustible biomass pellets.

“Innovative” was perhaps the watchword of the day, as proud family members milled around industry figures and members of the public, perusing the many stands. Lots of questions were asked of the clever designs as, in addition to mechanical design, the students also built the electrical and electronic controls, as well as programming all software.

ALSO READ: Four sections of Saanich roads now have anti-skid treatments

Creative solutions to problems were widely in evidence, with a specialized ball bearing giving the split-second edge to a world-class wheelchair athlete, an ice-skate sharpening machine that allows wearers to sharpen skates while standing in them and a machine that turns colourful bees wax strips into a tactile replacement for cling-film.

“This capstone project showcase gives students an opportunity to demonstrate what they are able to do and for the public to see what they’re capable of doing after two to three years of study,” says Len Mar, one of seven mentoring instructors from Camosun College’s Mechanical Engineering Technology program.

The projects helped students learn about collaborating with outside agencies. An example is the Lancaster Project, sponsored by the B.C. Aviation Museum in Sidney. Two groups of students worked on processes to speed-up the complex rebuilding of a WW2 bomber.

“We’ve been able to draw on the local expertise of Victoria Air Maintenance and Viking Air Ltd,” says Mar. “We leaned extensively on the Camosun Innovation Technology Access Centre and their 3D scanning technology and specialized software to re-create damaged aircraft parts when the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre in England couldn’t provide original part drawings.”

ALSO READ: Traditional salmon designs brighten Salish Sea Lantern Festival

Supporting the community and making products that can help people in a significant way were two themes strongly voiced during the showcase.

A carseat back support and a hydroponic growing tray, with a solar panel that tracks the sun’s movements, were two products that garnered industry interest. Other projects included a surfboard hydrofoil, a renewable energy trailer, demonstrated with virtual reality, a farm biogas digester and a carbon fibre racecar.

For more information on the courses available at Camosun College visit camosun.ca.



nick.murray@peninsulanewsreview.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

College

 

A student tinkers with a device that sharpens ice skates without the wearer having to remove them. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A student tinkers with a device that sharpens ice skates without the wearer having to remove them. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Special seats that are ergonomically designed to help long-haul truckers attain better posture and avoid back pain. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Special seats that are ergonomically designed to help long-haul truckers attain better posture and avoid back pain. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A hydrofoil to be used by a surfer. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A hydrofoil to be used by a surfer. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A project that helps hydroponic grow operations, better utilize solar power. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A project that helps hydroponic grow operations, better utilize solar power. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A racing car that mechanical engineering students have built using carbon fibre. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

A racing car that mechanical engineering students have built using carbon fibre. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Part of the Lancaster bomber that students are helping rebuild to an airworthy standard. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Part of the Lancaster bomber that students are helping rebuild to an airworthy standard. (Nick Murray/News Staff)

Just Posted

The City of Victoria hopes to improve its cultural spaces this year and it wants non-profits to help. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Grants up to $125,000 open to Victoria non-profit arts and cultural organizations

Victoria Cultural Infrastructure Grant applications close at the end of May

Sofia Watts, Charlotte Magill and Harriet Knight were among the KELSET Elementary School students releasing salmon fry into Reay Creek May 7. (Ian Bruce/Submitted)
Saanich Peninsula elementary students help restock, clean up local creeks

Salmon fry releases took place at Reay Creek and Tetayut Creek

(Black Press Media file photo)
Saanich health and safety manager named one of Canada’s top 40 women in safety

Canadian Occupational Safety magazine celebrates women leading safety sector in 2021

Pacific sand dollars are a local species which belong to the same group as sea urchins. While alive, they are covered entirely by thousands of densely packed, short and slender spikes. (Photo courtesy of Louise Page)
The peculiar life of a Pacific sand dollar

UVic biology professor Louise Page offers a glace into sand dollars’ world under the water

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read