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John Thibert, Frank Guarasci, Connor Ajersch, Mathew DunneFour UWindsor engineering students placed third in the Canadian Engineering Competition for their design of a crop duster that travels on a zipline. From left to right: John Thibert, Frank Guarasci, Connor Ajersch, and Mathew Dunne.

Crop-dusting design earns recognition for engineering students

A national competition has recognized the skills of four University of Windsor first-year students.

Connor Ajersch, John Thibert, Mathew Dunne, and Frank Guarasci placed third in the Canadian Engineering Competition for their design of a crop duster that travels on a zipline and drops various liquids onto specific plots along its path. The team had eight hours to build a prototype out of everyday household materials.

“The biggest challenge in making the crop duster was figuring out the timing for when we had to drop off the liquids on the zipline,” says Ajersch. “This was challenging for us as we weren't allowed to use any electronics and had to figure out how to mechanically time the dropping of the liquid.”

The national competition was held by the Canadian Federation of Engineering Students in Winnipeg in early March. The UWindsor team had to first win the Windsor Engineering Junior Design Competition and beat 16 universities in the Ontario Engineering Junior Design Competition to make it to the finals.

“We were able to represent the University of Windsor at a national competition, which was a big honour,” says Dunne. “While at the competition, we learned a lot about the importance of time management and teamwork when working on difficult projects.”

Once their prototype was complete, the students had to prepare a presentation that included a cost and feasibility analysis, prototype phase, and final design proposal. The cost of the materials used — which included household items such as straws, popsicle sticks, string, and coffee cups — was factored into the final score.

The UWindsor contingent competed against the top seven teams of first- and second-year students from universities across the country. Learn more about the Canadian Engineering Competition.

—Kristie Pearce

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