Design Teams At McGill

By Aymar Muhikira

A new chapter begins for many students starting their school year in the faculty of engineering. This is a great opportunity to have a look at the different design teams available in our faculty that will undoubtedly enrich the university experience of all who participate.

One of the most attractive aspects of engineering, which many who have chosen this path would agree with, is the ability to use theoretical knowledge in many fields as well as personal experiences to design, build, or improve tools. Design teams at McGill not only provide these hands-on practical experiences, but are also a great way to meet and socialize with people that share similar interests. So what better place to look for student life involvement than in the different design teams here at McGill. The Plumber’s Ledger has decided to provide an overview of the different and exciting design teams that will be operating during this school year.

McGill Rocket Team: A team for all those interested in rockets, the McGill Rocket Team brings together many students with different sets of skills and from different disciplines to build or improve rockets and represent McGill at the Rocket Engineering competitions. The McGill Rocket Team has consistently performed well in the different competitions they participate in, having most recently won first place at the Spaceport America Cup 2018 in the 10,000 feet COTS category.

McGill Formula Electric: The McGill Formula Electric team is an excellent resource for those who have a passion for electric vehicles. Over 50 students get to design, build, and race an electric formula car that has maintained a highly competitive edge over the last few years, having placed 1st this summer at the Formula SAE Electric 2019.

Concrete Canoe: McGill Concrete Canoe is made up of motivated students who, every year, design and build a canoe made of concrete to participate in national and international competitions.

McGill Space Group: The McGill Space Group gathers a group of space-enthusiasts from varied disciplines to build, over a period of two years, a satellite (cubesat) to compete in the Canadian Space Design Challenge. McGill Space Group also holds outreach events to get people interested in space or STEM in general.

McGill Robotics: Combining about 200 members from across multiple disciplines, McGill Robotics is divided among three groups, the Mars Rover team, the Drone team, and the Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) team, all building different autonomous robots to participate in a variety of competitions.

McGill Chem-E car: The Chem-E car design group is made up of students from many engineering fields that work together to build a chemically powered car. Since the beginning, the Chem-E car design group has always showed great potential through their participation in the AlChE competition, where they continuously qualify for the regionals competition, having even placed first in the national competition in 2015.

McGill Bridge Building Team: Every year, the McGill Bridge Building Team’s members get to design and build wood and steel bridges to participate in challenges such as the Troitsky Bridge Building Competition and the Canadian National Steel Bridge Competition (CNSBC).

McGill Baja Racing: This team brings together motivated and passionate students to design, build, test, and compete with a mini-Baja vehicle, following the rules of the Baja SAE student design competition.

While these activities may seem like a great leap to anyone who’s not familiar with design teams, the skills, the networking they provide, and the memories members make out of them is what makes design teams very interesting extracurriculars. We encourage everyone at the beginning of this year to take a look at those design teams and see if they can find something that interests them.