MecE senior design team returns wiser from Western Engineering Competition

The MecE team represented the U of A at the Western Engineering Senior Design Competition

Robyn Braun - 29 January 2020

A team of fifth year mechanical engineering students have returned from a successful learning experience at the Western Engineering Senior Design competition. The team, made up of Adesh Sangione, Devon Saroya, Jagbir Kullar and Malav Naik, won the University of Alberta's design competition and so went on to represent the university at the Western Engineering competition in Saskatoon from January 22-26, 2020.

The team entered the U of A competition out of a desire to test their knowledge and prove their skills.

"We just decided to apply our engineering skills to solve a problem," said Adesh Sangione. "We wanted to prove that what we learn in school can actually be applied."

"Plus, we're all pretty competitive," added Malav Naik.

At the U of A competition, teams design robots from pre-made component packages of a micro-controller and other electronics and software.

"I'm especially proud of us because we're mechanical engineers but we did all the electronics too," said Devon Saroya.

Each team member had experience with this kind of challenge from their first design course, MecE 260. But this competition was more challenging. Teams were given a time limit and required to present their design process and a SolidWorks model of their design as well.

"We all had design experience from 260 and 460," said Malav Naik. "The challenge was the time constraint."

Going in to the competition in Saskatchewan, the team knew only that the competition theme would be space exploration and that they would be provided the micro-controller for their robot.

"We're provided with a controller for low level logic to use as the brains of the robot," explained Jagbir Kullar.

Unfortunately, the team did not do as well as they had hoped in the competition.

"We don't find out where we placed because we did not place in the top 3," explained Devon Saroya.

At the competition, the team decided to push themselves beyond the competition's minimum requirement.

"We tried to make our rover autonomous," said Saroya. "And we had trouble with the autonomous functionality."

Still, the team did exactly what they set out to do.

"It was a great learning experience for all of us," said Saroya. "And that made it fun."