By Phill Snel
Students, representing the Canadian Electrical Contractors Association (CECA) U of T Chapter, were recognized for their success at the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA) Electrical Contracting Innovation Challenge (ECIC) held Saturday, October 9.
The team won the Most Innovative proposal and placed third overall in the competition, behind Iowa State and Wayne State University.
CECA U of T is the first and only Canadian student chapter, with a team consisting of some 30 members comprised of a range of Engineering and Architecture students, who worked on the four-month design proposal from January to April 2021. CECA U of T was selected in July 2021 as one of the top three finalists.
The finals were held on October 9, 2021, where six U of T Team Leads / Members from every sub-team delivered an oral presentation virtually to the in-person event in Nashville, Tennessee. The presenters included Joanna Melnyk (Year 4 EngSci – Building Energy Management Team Lead), Ruth Zachariah (Year 4 CivE – Smart Building Design Team Lead), Sarah De Sousa (Year 4 CivE – Community Engagement Coordinator), Aaron Hu (Year 3 CivE – Team Member for Lighting sub-team), Lina Mollazadeh (Year 3 CivE – Project Management Team Lead) and Zhiyuan (Scott) Zhu (Year 4 Architecture – Building Information Team Lead). The team took direction from their faculty advisor Ian Sinclair, a CivMin sessional instructor.
“We did our best, given that we presented virtually by video from Toronto, while the other finalists were in Nashville for this year’s in-person conference,” says Zachariah.
The ECIC is an annual case competition run by Electric International and NECA Student that provides university students and faculty advisors an opportunity to actively engage with a range of industry professional and other Student Chapters. This year’s competition focused on designing an innovative, and efficient electrical system, based on NECA-approved construction documents and building information models, for a new student dorm residence that would meet the needs of future UofT students.