Frustrated by the lack of hands-on experience you’re getting out of your degree? Thankfully, the Faculty of Engineering is home to a diverse set of student-run design teams for you to get that needed experience! Whether you’re into flying amongst the clouds or all about burning that sweet gasoline, chances are McGill has something for you.
By Pauline Kress
McGill Formula Electric is an engineering student design team that designs, builds and races a 100% electric prototype Formula E race car. We compete at international competitions against universities from around the world and consistently finish in the top 5. The team traces its roots to the Formula Hybrid competition and the Clean Snowmobile Challenge. Both events which were won by McGill teams multiple times. As one of the first teams in North America to develop electric vehicles, our team has a strong base of knowledge from which to build, something that is passed on every year.
We are dedicated to learning about alternative means of transportation as well as cutting-edge engineering sustainable technology. This project continues to put McGill at the forefront of green technology, proving that students – i.e. the future – are capable of building sustainable, dependable, and ever-growing green technologies.
From the Chem-E Car Website
The idea of having a McGill Chem-E Car Team started in the summer of 2013 when David Villegas brought a group of his fellow McGill chemical engineering students together with the goal of participating in the AIChE Chem-E Car competition. Those involved started researching reactions for power source and stopping mechanism, playing with microcontrollers, and designing the body of the car. As the year progressed, the Chem-E Car design idea was made into a reality thanks to the support of various organisations and sponsors. After overcoming many unexpected problems, and many hours of calibrating the reaction, the McGill Chem-E Car Team made its way to their very first appearance at the AIChE Chem-E Car – North East Regional Competition. The competition was hosted by the University of Connecticut at the end of March 2014. The team placed 6th out of 14, an excellent first showing!
By Aissam Souidi & Muhammad Hamza Tikka
McGill Rocket Team was founded with the mission to enable students in engineering and other faculties to study, design and manufacture rockets. Furthermore, we hope to best represent McGill University at international rocket engineering competitions. Last but not least, we aspire to contribute to research in astronautics. The McGill Rocket Team prides itself on a structure where senior team members work closely with junior members in order to transfer their knowledge. We strongly believe that it takes a strong team to accomplish successful projects. Our hope is that this legacy will continue to be embedded within the team as it continues to grow and flourish.
From the SAE Aero website
Aero McGill is a shared platform for all aerospace engineering design teams at McGill. We provide the organizational frameworks, mentoring, and tools, as well as 100% of the funding for design teams that we accept in our society. One reason for the previous lack of aerospace design teams was the difficulty in starting a new team from scratch. With Aero McGill, students interested in starting a new project can skip the process of starting and promoting a team, acquiring initial funding, gaining official status at McGill, and finding resources for design, manufacturing, and testing. This gives the design teams more time to spend designing their actual projects. We hope to expand the current group of design teams to include all three SAE Aero Design East competitions (Micro, Regular, Advanced) as well as Unmanned Systems Canada’s Student Unmanned Aircraft System design competition. All design teams bear the Aero McGill’s branding, projecting a unified and collaborative image to the McGill community at large.
At Aero McGill we encourage the development of professional and engineering skills that match industry standards to cultivate a learning experience that extends beyond the reach of any classroom.
By Michael Karpuk
A Baja is an off-road racing vehicle, meshing the characteristics of an ATV and a dune buggy to craft an incredible racing machine. Every year, the McGill Baja Racing Team designs, builds, tests, and races a vehicle that they built from scratch at international collegiate competitions across North America. The competitions comprise a number of events, focusing on both the quality and ingenuity of the design, as well as its racing ability, proven during a four hour endurance race. Pitting all vehicles head-to-head, this race pushes the cars to their limit, and many break long before the end of the race. With consistent top performances and incredible team spirit, the McGill Baja Racing Team is a team like no other.
From the McGill Robotics Website
McGill Robotics has several aims: to foster interest in robotics through competition, to cultivate a relationship with the surrounding Montreal community, and much closer to home, to create a core community at McGill via the “Team Before Machine” philosophy, which prioritizes team bonding and growth along with engineering accomplishment.
Currently, McGill Robotics includes 3 Design Teams: The AUV Design Team represents its largest endeavor. 72 McGill students coming from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines form the team, which will be competing for the second time in AUVSI and ONR’s International RoboSub Competition. The Rover Design Team, consisting of 71 members will be for the first time participating to the University Rover Challenge in which they will be tele-operating the rover in a challenging Mars-like environment to perform multiple tasks. Finally, core to all the McGill Robotics Design Teams is their dedicated Business Team. Working to brand McGill Robotics and promote it to the McGill community, the Business Team also takes responsibility for communicating with sponsors and keeping track of finances.
By the Concrete Canoe Team
McGill Concrete Canoe Team is made up of more than 60 undergraduate students who annually design and build a canoe out of concrete to compete against dozens of schools both nationally and internationally. The idea sounds crazy, but that is exactly what makes it a challenging and exciting project to work on. The catch? It must float completely submerged below the surface of the water. Solving the problem involves creating a unique concrete mix that is both light and strong, designing the hull of the canoe using structural analysis methods, constructing the canoe precisely to design specifications, and ultimately racing the canoe. Supported by one of the best schools in Canada, the team has aggressively climbed the standings in only a few years of existence, highlighted by Participant’s Choice Award at the 2015 Canadian National Concrete Canoe Competition, with no sign of slowing down. Our members are passionate and innovative – we never stop raising the bar.
By Matthieu Labaudinière
Back in 1994, the founders of the McGill Racing Team came to one significant realization: the advanced theory learned in class, if combined with a comprehensive hands-on experience, would stimulate valuable growth for young engineering students. And so the McGill Racing Team was created, and since then, the team has existed to serve one main purpose: to complement the knowledge acquired in class by providing the wisdom of how to use it. This is done through the design, manufacturing, and testing of a single-seater prototype formula SAE race car. The vehicle travels around the world each summer to compete with the best universities. Along the way, team members make friends, make connections, and above all, learn what it means to be a part of the global engineering community.