EngSci alumni help Human Powered Vehicle Design Team sets world record
Sept. 26, 2019
From left to right, Professor Jun Nogami (MSE, EngSci 8T0), Jack Yu (Year 3 MSE), Trefor Evans (EngSci 1T4, UTIAS PhD Candidate), Calvin Moes (EngSci 1T3 + PEY, MSE PhD candidate), Evan Bennewies (EngSci 1T8 + PEY), and Luke Patterson (MechE 1T9 + PEY) standing behind their human-powered tandem vehicle (Photo: D. Guthrie)
This month, Friday the 13th was a lucky day for U of T Engineering’s Human Powered Vehicle Design Team (HPVDT), as they broke the world record for tandem biking at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge (WHPSC).
From helping people with Parkinson’s disease to dance safely, to designing storage facilities for coffee beans, and even timing the throw in a knife throwing competition, this year’s Praxis design projects covered a diverse range of topics.
The Year 1 Praxis design course challenges EngSci students to apply their engineering know-how and improve the lived experience of a community within the Greater Toronto Area. Students explore the city in teams to find problems that can benefit from an engineering approach, and work with stakeholders to ensure their solutions match end-user needs. Members of the public are invited to see the results at the annual Praxis Showcase.
EngSci students are behind two exciting startups that were incubated in the U of T Engineering’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery.
Rahul Goel (EngSci 1T6) is one of the co-founders of PheedLoop, a Hatchery startup from the 2014 cohort.
PheedLoop is a new user-friendly platform that allows presenters to get live, anonymous feedback from audiences. Rahul Goel and Phil Isaac (both 1T6) got the idea in class, where student presentations were usually evaluated only by a professor or teaching staff, even though many students were also in the room. Their platform takes advantage of the whole audience by making it easy for everyone to give constructive feedback. It’s a great tool for helping students, or even experienced presenters, to improve their skills. Goel and Isaac have turned their innovation into full-time jobs, now that they have graduated. Pheedloop has been used in conferences around the world and the team is adding new functions, such as live polling. Read more about where PheedLoop is heading.
Harris Chan, Fiona Gan, Annie Mao and Sherry Shi (all EngSci 1T5 + PEY) are helping physiotherapy patients get better results from their therapy with their new app called PhysioPhriend. The app uses a smartphone’s sensors to track a patient’s progress in range of movement and allows therapists to access the data and send messages. Read more about their plans for PhysioPhriend.
Annie Mao, Fiona Gan and Harris Chan (all EngSci 1T5 + PEY) of PhysioPhriend, a startup that is building an app to help improve outcomes for physiotherapy patients. (Photo: Tyler Irving)