Student Design Competition

Welcome to the homepage of the 2017 Student Design Competition!

The purpose of the RDC Design/Build Competition is to foster interdisciplinary relationships among RDC students, and to showcase the resources at the RDC Innovation Center. The benefits from participation in this competition are numerous:

  • team building and leadership skills
  • practicing public speaking and communication skills
  • CAD (computer assisted drafting) experience, with hands–on experience with prototyping equipment
  • networking with potential employers
  • improving your resume with extra–curricular activities that are attractive to future summer job placements and employers
  • approximately $2000 are awarded as prize money at the year–end presentations

This year we are going with two themes for the competition: assisted living technologies or "make it green".  We would like you to design a piece of hardware that could be used to aid those with a physical disability. 

On Monday, February 6th and Friday, February 10th, 2017 at 5 pm in room 2403 we will be holding two, 2-hour Orientation/Information Sessions, so hopefully you will be able to attend one of those two sessions (no need to come to both).  These sessions will consist of the following:

  • an overview of the competition and an introduction to some of the available faculty advisors
  • a tour of the new RDC MakerSpace, including demonstrations on 3D printing and Arduino Boards, two instruments that may be useful in your designs
  • a mini "hackathon", where we will split up the attendees into small groups and giving them a task (such as build a bridge with popsicle sticks) that can be completed and tested within about 30 minutes.  There will be small prizes for this mini-competition.  The point of the hackathon is to show you that given a task and tools, you can create a very useful device in a short amount of time.

Students form teams to work on a design project related to assisted living technologies.  The teams have an opportunity to build a prototype of the design in the RDC Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing or (CIM), which can provide up to $5000 in materials to be divided up between all of the teams.  The CIM will also provide technical assistance for the prototype phase of the project. 

Faculty advisors (FA) across all disciplines will be available for consultation and advice.  Groups may choose any interested faculty member from any department willing to take on the role, but all groups must have an FA.  The purpose of the FA is to provide feedback and support to the students and act as a liaison between the group and the desired college−wide facilities.  Groups are encouraged to meet with their FA as often as needed.  It is also allowed for groups to have multiple FAs, depending on the nature of the project.

Students should not spend more than 1−2 hours per week or 30 hours total on this project.

The best projects will be those for which a small, inexpensive prototype can be built in addition to the design.  However, an innovative and implementable design (without a prototype) with a diverse group can still win this competition.

The official rules are given in the Google Document below.  If you have any immediate questions, please e-mail bryan [dot] rowsell [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (subject: Design%20Competition%20Inquiry) (Dr. Bryan Rowsell) or warren [dot] elgersma [at] rdc [dot] ab [dot] ca (subject: Design%20Competition%20Inquiry) (Warren Elgersma).