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Shawn Khoshaien, Jennifer Scherer, Amanda Wilson, Laura Daniel and George VereykenShawn Khoshaien, director of engineering for Union Gas, presents a $500 cheque to Jennifer Scherer, Amanda Wilson, Laura Daniel and George Vereyken for the team’s first-place finish Friday in the Capstone Design Demonstration Day competition.

Beach pavilion design sets engineering students on course to win

Given the hot weather this summer, students might prefer to hit the beach instead of the books.

A team of fourth-year engineering students has found success doing both—and their award-winning design project may be hitting the beach soon, too.

Laura Daniel, Jennifer Scherer, George Vereyken and Amanda Wilson took top honours Friday in a competition of final capstone projects with their design of a pavilion for Colchester Harbour Park on the shores of Lake Erie. Their proposal for the structure, sponsored by Atlas Tube, will now be considered for construction on the beachfront site.

“We picked this project knowing it will have actual application,” said Scherer. “It’s pretty exciting to think it could be built.”

Their design features a cantilevered roof held in place with steel tubing arrayed to resemble a ship’s rigging, complementing an adjacent pirate-themed play structure. It underwent a series of changes in consultation with the sponsor and officials of the town of Essex.

“That’s the difference between school and the real world,” Scherer said. “What you do on the first try isn’t always the final result.”

It was a message echoed by dean of engineering Mehrdad Saif, who praised the efforts of all the students in applying textbook learning to practical challenges.

“Everyone did a fantastic job and worked really hard over the past eight months,” he said. “Nowadays, engineers do not work alone in a cubicle. Teamwork is essential to becoming a valued and successful professional.”

Members of the winning team will split a $500 prize donated by Union Gas. Other projects selected as finalists included:

  • “Vehicle Intelligence with Obstacle Avoidance and Pathfinding Navigation,” representing electrical and computer engineering;
  • “Repair of Aging Block Wall Foundation,” representing civil and environmental engineering; and
  • “3D Printed Compressor Rig,” representing manufacturing, automotive and materials engineering.

Find a gallery of photos from the day’s events on the Facebook page of the Faculty of Engineering.

Pavilion dsign featuring cantilevered roof.
A pavilion designed by engineering students for Colchester Beach resembles a ship to complement the park theme.

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