April 10, 2019

Student engineering solutions in the spotlight at Capstone

Students shine as they put their best answers forward at annual engineering design fair
2019 Engineering Design Fair
2019 Engineering Design Fair

Protecting honey bees, by using technology to leave them alone.

As examples of how engineering can make the world a better place, a pair of bee preservation projects were among the inventions generating a buzz at the Schulich School of Engineering’s annual Capstone design fair on April 2.

“Our system is designed to monitor hive conditions continuously throughout all seasons, wirelessly sending internal hive data along with a visual stream to the beekeeper,” explains Dylan Hofer, part of the quartet of students behind Team HiveMind.

Team HiveMind

Team HiveMind

No-disturb model benefits bees

It’s no secret bees are struggling to survive in recent years, and while disease, parasites and pesticides can impact the pollinating insect, it’s also known that opening commercial bee hives for inspection is also a major stress.

Enter engineering students from the University of Calgary, using technology to monitor hive health via weight, temperature and entrances that can become blocked during the annual winter drone die-off.

“Unless harvesting or in an emergency, the beekeeper doesn’t need to physically interact with the hive, so bees can live happy and healthy, undisturbed,” says Hofer.

One of more than 115 engineering projects

The bee saving designs (the other entry was Team NewBee's Hive Observation System) were among more than 115 engineering projects and inventions at the Canadian Natural Resources Limited Engineering Complex on display for students, faculty and members of the public.

The fair gives all fourth-year Schulich students a chance to show off their academic prowess with a real-world engineering solution, providing creative answers to problem posed by professors, industry, and the students themselves.

Leadership and teamwork

“This is an opportunity to take the skills they’ve learned over the past four years  as undergraduate students and put them to work on real-world problems, using leadership, teamwork and communication skills,” says Dr. Bob Brennan, PhD, head of the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

“The ideas we see here are often amazing, and we’ve seen them go on to be commercialized, or taken further as research projects.”



Congratulations to the following winners of the 2019 Engineering Design Fair:


Chemical Engineering

First Place:

400 kTa Propane Dehydrogenation (PDH) Facility

Sahil Daroch, Chinmoy Ayachit, Akhilesh Chhetry, Lucas Duque


Second Place:

Fuels from Plastic Waste

Natasha Born, Farhana Karim, Claire Delaney, Fatima Qureshi, Dylan Bowersock


Petroleum Engineering


First Place:

Surmont SAGD Non-Condensable Gas Optimization

Ryan Kiley, Sam Sajedy, Kyle Snow, Tianren Zhang


Second Place:

Development of Gull Lake Central Upper Shaunavon

Pankti Shah, Logan Gray, David Nguyen, Steven Taylor, Kush Bhatt


Civil Engineering


First Place:

GNWT Hodgson Creek Bridge

Ryan Page, Andres Capobianco, Jeffery Leung, Maham Tahir, Harman Sandu


Second Place:

Stability Assessment of Roxboro Landslide

John Yakielashek, Jocelyn Prince, Savely Foline, Claire Gillis, Jun Wei Ooi


Electrical Engineering


First Place:

Microdrop: A Multi-Analyte Portable Detection System for Biofluids

Savitri Butterworth, Thomas Lijnse, Ken Loughery, Katrin Smith, Brendon Besler


Second Place:

Drone Supported Acoustic Mapping Platform

Luke Renaud, Garnet Tanner, Mahipaul Tak, Matthew Wiens


Software Engineering


First Place:

InTrak - Indoor Localization

Quinn Bischoff, Aidan Bailey, Ruble Sandhu, Rajat Singh, Alex James, Raavi Mehta


Second Place:


Adnan Husain, Adrian Chan, Daniel Velasco, Eric Matteucci, Fernando Valera


Geomatics Engineering


First Place:

Indoor Positioning using Ultra-Wideband Ranging System

Paul Gratton. Jamie Horrelt, Jeffrey Plett. Kate Pexman


Second Place:

Robot Monitoring to Enhance Maintenance Efficiency

Ching Tam, Deanna Ip, Lucas Hossack, Shuet-Ching, Christina Lo


Mechanical and Manufacturing ​ Engineering


First Place:

Modular Lower Body Negative Pressure (LBNP) System

Emily Dawson, Loretta Ko, Divi Mangla, Cameron McDonald, Matthew Milne, Yuyang Pan


Second Place:

Enhanced Drivetrain for Off-Road Vehicles

Abdullah Alsaedi, Lindsay Hiendl, Diego Ruiz Burgos, Ryan Mensik, Jephson Stirling, Scott Webber


Multidisciplinary and Entrepreneurial Engineering


First Place:

The Additive Lathe - Cylindrical 3D Printer with Continuous Carbon Fiber Extrusion

Evan Jacobs, Mingrui Tong, Nicholas Elderfield, Vicky Liu, Curtis Woods, Jonathan Lo, Sojhal Brochal. Richard Nguyen


Second Place:

Instrument Basket for Sterilization of Gynecological Instruments

Nicole Bowal, Lauren Brown, Mikeala MacDonell, Gideon Mentie, Parker Nesdoly, Amelia Woodard