Biz/TechHeadlinesNorthHumber students compete in provincial qualifiers for mechatronics

druvsareenFebruary 26, 20196 min

Druv Sareen, Biz-Tech Reporter

Neal Mohammed has been involved with the Skills Ontario mechatronics competition for a quarter century and has seen the competition grow. This year, it reached a new height.

“To see females in technology, two young ladies that’s competing, that’s a milestone for us.” he said. “It’s really good to see young students engage in more mechanical, there’s a lot of interest for students to enter this field of mechatronics.”

Students from Humber’s Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program competed in the Skills Ontario mechatronics qualifying round for the provincial tournament in May.

Twelve teams competed against each other to design an automated sorting station to specification. Teams are then evaluated, with the two best teams going to provincials.

Theresa Martinez competes in the Skills Qualifying Competition at Humber College on Feb. 15, 2019. (Druv Sareen)

“Students begins with an interest, then they’re going to go through a series of evaluations and then that’s going to be filtered down to the 12 teams, ” Mohammed said. “It’s a combination of all various skill sets from mechanical to electrical to software to coding it’s all incorporated into this way ”

The director of the Centre for Technology Innovation helps run the event every year.

Hartej Tapia competed in the event for the third year. Last year he placed silver in the competition.

He thinks the experience is incomparable.

“It’s a whole different experience. You feel like a rush,” Tapia said. “When the competition starts, you feel nervous, but at the same time you’re excited and the speed that you work in is unbelievable.”

He thinks the experience is invaluable for the workplace.

Attendees of the Skills Qualifying Competition could test their drawing skills against a robot arm. (Druv Sareen)

“It teaches a lot about how to be professional in the workplace,” he said. “A lot of these competitions take place with big companies such as Magna, Hydro One, and a lot of employers come to see these competitions.”

Mateusz Cwalinski, a recent Humber graduate, has been connected to the event for four years. Last year, he took gold in the national tournament and will be competing against other nationally placed teams in Russia this summer.

Cwalinski is proud of the work he put into the competition.

“It was good to have a small relief of so much hard work and to show that hard work pays off,” he said. “You can honestly say that you are the best in the country.”

Mohammed is proud of Humber’s results in competition.

“I think we do have a niche in mechatronics compared to the other schools,” he said. “They all do training in our fields as well but we are taking students to podiums, that’s the difference.”