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Competition sees students coast to victory while honing design skills

A volunteer from Scouts Canada helps students Malav Rathod and Amir Sarikhani prepare for the first-ever Gravity Car Race held by the Master of Engineering Auto Student Advisory Council. Scouts Canada provided the racetrack.

Mechanical engineering students took a break from their books Friday to compete against their peers in a gravity car competition. More than 50 students took part in the friendly competition hosted for the first time by the university’s Master of Engineering Auto Student Advisory Council.

“This competition is an opportunity for students to showcase their design skills and their knowledge of fundamental engineering concepts such as aerodynamics,” said Tracy Beemer, program administrator for the MEng Automotive program.

Each team of three had a few months to build a car that weighed less than 140 grams and would outrace competitors down a sloped track.

Team Bandit finished with the fastest time, sending members Aditya Vyas, Yizhi Win, and Yagneshkumar Parikh away with the top prize: a trip to Toronto in February to attend the 2018 Canadian International Autoshow.

Team Shark — Yu Tian, Bingtao Kang, and Ailin Yang — came in second and won best design.

Malav Rathod, member of the MEng advisory council, said the council hopes to make this an annual event.

“We’re hoping to eventually host competitions where students design motor-powered vehicles,” Rathod said.

The competition was open to all UWindsor students and received support from faculty members who served as judges and Scouts Canada, which provided the racetrack.