(Halifax NS; 16 Feb. 2015) Memorial engineering students dominated the 31st annual Atlantic Engineering Competition (AEC)  with three first-place wins, a second-place win and four third-place wins. The event weas held at Dalhousie University, Jan. 16-18.

Divided into four different teams, 10 of the 36 competitors from Memorial won first- or second-place finishes in their competing categories thereby earning the right to compete at the national  Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) in March on home turf.

In the Junior Design category – for first- and second-year students – competitiors are given four hours to develop a solution to an engineering design problem. First-year students Sarah White, Julia Collins, Julia Sullivan and Jillian Oldford won first place for their design, which consisted of a pulley connected to a water turbine that harnessed the energy of a flowing current to lift a weight.

In the Innovative Design category, where competitors are asked to present an innovative and commercially viable solution to a problem of their choice, third-year computer engineering students Meghan McGee and Halie Murrin won first place for their design, which monitors depression trends in individuals. The device tracks sleep through measuring brain, muscle and eye activity. This information is then related to a sleep cycle pattern and the outcome is relayed to the consumer.

In the Debate category, students are asked to defend a topic, which is presented moments before. Fifth-year mechanical engineering students Joshua Abeling and Paul Stewart won second place.

Process engineering students Erin Lundrigan and Richard Bonnell placed first in the re-engineering category for the second year in a row. For this competition, students apply an engineering process to an existing gadget in order to add new functionality or to enhance its original function. They were tasked with two designs – to design a device that kept a fishing lure a specific distance above the seabed to aid fishermen in catching their quota and to use wind power to provide sufficient power to two electric coolers on a fishing boat using items provided by the fisherman (cooling fan, battery and electric coolers).

Memorial students with third-place finishes included fifth-year civil engineering student James Greey and third-year civil engineering student Alex Collins in the Debate category; third-year mechanical engineering students Keisha Chin-Yet, Courtney Murrin, Nick Mathias, Justin Simms in the Senior Design category; first-year engineering students Courtney Harnum and Zachary Burt in the Communications category and second-year mechanical engineering students Ian Mullet, Evan Tilley, James Macdonald and Luke Tilley in the Consulting category.

With all their success at AEC, fifth-year process engineering student Jessica Madore says the students are looking forward to hosting CEC in March and cheering on local competitors.

“Memorial engineering students have definitely set the bar high for the rest of Canada. I was fortunate enough to attend AEC as a CEC representative and had the opportunity to view our Memorial competitors at work. The fact that this is only the third year we have been sending students to these competitions really goes to show the high level of education we receive here at Memorial. We’re looking forward to what March will bring.”

Prof. Andy Fisher, associate dean, undergraduate engineering, is proud of how well the students from Memorial did, and is looking forward to the students competing on their home turf at CEC.

“Again this year, we are extremely proud of how well our students performed at AEC,” he said. “Competitions like these are motivating but demanding of their time and involves a lot of hard work and planning outside of their classes and studies. We are looking forward to cheering our students on at CEC in March.”