Category Archives: Student Competitions

uOttawa startup weekend was awesome!

I was enormously privilege to be asked to be a judge at the 2016 uOttawa startup weekend.  And massively proud of what our students accomplished!

Startup Weekend enables entrepreneurs and business-passionate individuals to gather in one place for inspiration and ideas sharing. The third  successful Startup Weekend  took place at uOttawa’s Morrist Library over the weekend of November 18, 2016. This edition of Startup Weekend focused on current uOttawa students, and recent graduates. The goal of this event is to connect students across all faculties to encourage and promote entrepreneurship regardless of discipline of study.



Another competition to consider

I am  a big fan of engineering “design and build” competitions.  They are GREAT for student learning.  WE’ve been lucky to grow ourselves  Baja, Supermileage and Formula teams and I’m hoping for more.

Here’s another one to consider.  uOTrac anyone?

2016 James Dyson award

The 2016 James Dyson Award is now open for post-secondary students. Running since 2004, the international competition challenges the brightest young engineers and designers around the world to think differently. They’re invited to submit a product or concept that solves a problem, competing to win a prize of $60,000 and $10,000 for their school.

Last year, the international winning project hailed from Canada for the first time ever. Voltera V-One is a rapid custom circuit board printer developed by a team of four engineering students from the University of Waterloo. The team took home the top spot, the prize money and secured significant recognition.

Let’s get Canada’s brightest and best engineering and design students on the map: we invite you to share the below engineering brief with your students and colleagues.

Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any questions or for campus posters.

Good luck to all Canadian entrants!


Engineering brief: Design something that solves a problem

The James Dyson Award is an international student design award running in 22 countries worldwide. The brief is broad: we’re looking for product concepts or ideas that solve a real problem.

The award celebrates ingenuity, creativity and sustainable engineering. Entrants are encouraged to do more with less, designing with the environment in mind. The best inventions have a significant and practical purpose, and the potential to be commercially viable.

We’re looking for designers who think differently to create products that work better. Engineers who follow an iterative design process.  Rough and ready prototypes. Either designed from a university project or designed in the entrant’s own time. The best entries demonstrate the iterative design process and include sketches, images of models, prototypes and videos.

Join the competition HERE and register today!


  • Any university-level student in an engineering, industrial design or product design program (or graduates within the past four years)
  • Submissions can be from individuals or teams
  • Students must have studied in one of the 22 participating countries*



International Winner:

  • The international prize is $60,000* for the student and $10,000* for the student’s university department.

Up to two International Runners-up:

  • $10,000* each

National winner

  • $4,000*


  • Opens: February 18, 2016
  • Closes: July 19, 2016
  • National finalists announced: September  8, 2016
  • Dyson engineers international shortlist: September 29, 2016
  • International winner and finalists announced: October 27, 2016


Video links:

*participating countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Ireland, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, Singapore, Spain, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, the UK and the USA

*or equivalent of £30,000

*or equivalent of £5,000

*or equivalent of £5,000

*or equivalent of £2,000

Jessica Danziger-Lin

Public Relations Manager
t (416) 323-4001

m (416) 659-4016

Dyson Canada Ltd.

312 Adelaide Street West, 7th Floor

Toronto, Ontario M5V 1R2

IEEE EMBS International Student Conference – Design Competition 

The IEEE Engineering in Medicine in Biology Society (EMBS) International Student Conference (ISC) 2016 taking place at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada from May 29 to May 31, 2016 will host a design competition for undergraduate students.
Teams of up to 5 undergraduate students are invited to submit their unique solution through engineering aptitude to a problem or issue within the biomedical science, medicine, and/or healthcare field(s).
The competition is sponsored by Carleton University’s Technology Innovation Management (TIM) Program. By joining the competition, students have a chance to share their innovative ideas, get noticed by leading experts and win top notch prizes!
Prizes for Top Submissions:

1st Place: $500 CAD + Special Prize

2nd Place: $300 CAD + Special Prize

3rd Place: $150 CAD + Special Prize
For more information on submission requirements, please visit:

A Super Finish for uOttawa at International Fuel Efficiency Competition

Supermileage team

Left to right: Sam Freemark, Eric Vierich (team captain), Patrick Dumond (supervisor), Francis Lefebvre, Stefano Mazza, Laura Haya (driver), Sébastien Gagné, Jason De Sousa, Jacques Leclerc, Mitchell Geis, Jérémie Gratton.

On June 4 and 5, 2015, a group of ten engineering students participated in what could be one of their best university experiences: representing the University of Ottawa at the 2015 SAE Supermileage competition in Marshall, Michigan, USA. The goal of the competition is to design and build an ultra-high efficiency vehicle using gasoline as its only means of propulsion. The team, a mix of undergraduate and graduate students from different engineering programs, worked really well together in order to overcome many challenges.

Mitchell Geis recounts: “The most important thing that I took from this competition is that if you set your mind on something, anything is possible. After three engine failures and just about everything else going wrong, to be able to complete a run was a seemingly impossible, but incredibly rewarding accomplishment for the team.

students working on race car

The competition is a great opportunity for engineering students to apply what they learn in the classroom and really push themselves to achieve a higher level of understanding. Sam Freemark explains: “As a first-year electrical engineering student, I was initially unsure about my decision to join the uOttawa Supermileage Team. I wasn’t convinced that someone with my skill set would be able to bring anything to the table. But was I ever wrong! After just a few working sessions with the group, I knew I had made the right decision. The project involved so much more than what I had initially thought: aspects of mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, combined with project management and much more. It taught me many skills that you can’t learn in the classroom, and helped me apply the ones that I had learned in class to a real world problem.

The team passed all technical requirements and completed a full six-lap run to achieve an incredible fuel economy of 542mpg (Canadian) or 0.52L/100km. This gave the team an impressive 9th place finish (out of 29), with lots of room for future improvement in their design. In fact, the team placed 4th overall on the design report, which is extraordinary since this year’s vehicle entry was designed and built completely from scratch with an entirely new team.

Laura Haya comments: “I came in as the driver while I was nearing the end of my PhD. The team built a successful Supermileage vehicle from scratch! They persisted up to, and throughout, the competition (during which they worked long days and nights). I was amazed at how well they worked together under pressure as they were faced with a succession of unforeseen mishaps. They came up with innovative solutions to each problem on the spot.

supermileage car

If this year’s performance is an indication of what lies ahead, the team has a very bright and exciting future. Patrick Dumond praises the team: “As team supervisor, I am really impressed with the amount of effort and persistence they have shown. I cannot wait to see what the future holds for all the new, returning and graduating team members.

The uOttawa Supermileage team would like to thank all of this year’s sponsors who helped make their participation a reality: 3M, Freeman, Composites Canada, PPG, CCI, Click Bond, Canus Plastics, Enterprise, Shawarma Palace, Merriam Print and Calabogie Motor Sports.