USask Engineering student groups hit spring competitions

Teams proudly represented USask Engineering in several competitions this spring.

Huskie Formula Racing

The Huskie Formula Racing team at Michigan International Speedway. (Photo: Submitted)

The Huskie Formula Racing Team had a successful trip to Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, Michigan for the Formula SAE - Michigan competition, organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) International.

The group encountered some early adversity when the car suffered a broken wing and shattered suspension strut during transport. However, they secured supplies and had the car repaired in time for the start of the competition, which drew 100 teams.

Notable USask results included finishing eighth in the Presentation event and 21st in the Cost event.

Then, catastrophe struck in the Acceleration event when the car’s rear axle broke.

“This would have been an event-ending disaster if not for the dedicated work of our drivetrain lead and president Annika Holmstrom and other team members,” says faculty advisor Michael Miller. “They made arrangements with one of our alumni to get access to equipment and stayed up until 3 a.m. to get the axle jury-rigged rigged together so we could compete in Endurance the following day.”

Only 38 teams made it through all rounds of competition to the Endurance event. Overall, USask finished 40th out of 100 teams. Of the nine Canadian teams competing, only the University of Waterloo and University of British Columbia finished higher. University of Illinois – Urbana Champaign won the overall title.

This was the team’s first competition in two years and of the 15 students who made the trip, only two had been to competition before.

“For such a young team with little to no competition experience we should be very proud of the results achieved by these young men and women. I know I am,” says Miller.

Sled Dogs 1/4 Scale Tractor Team

The Sled Dogs team in Peoria, Il. (Photo: Submitted)

Eleven members of the Sled Dogs 1/4 Scale Tractor Team travelled to Peoria, Illinois for the International 1/4 Scale Tractor Student Design Competition.

“It was an excellent showing, probably our best in several years, even pre-pandemic,” says faculty advisor Scott Noble.

The team finished in eighth place out of 18 teams competing in the event, which is hosted by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE). South Dakota State University was the overall winner.

The Sled Dogs won the Manufacturability and Craftsmanship awards and earned top three finishes in several competition categories: Team Presentation (2nd), Manoeuverability (2nd), Design Reports (3rd) and Defence of Design (3rd), along with earning a fourth place in Design Judging. The ASABE posted a video of the banquet with an overview of all the awards.

“Overall, the team had many victories along with a few disappointments while a lot was learned along the way, from the tractor build and from the competition. The Sled Dogs will be back in 2023 with a more experienced team and plenty of new ideas,” team president Max Kazuska wrote in his competition report.

“Could-have-beens from this year have been translated to excitement to begin working on next year’s tractor with hopes to improve the team’s performances,” said Kazuska, who was on Global TV to discuss the team's showing. 

The ASABE invites the top three finishers in the Team Presentation category to present at the ASABE Annual International Meeting; it’s being held in July in Houston. The Sled Dogs are currently considering the invitation in light of team finances.

USask Steel Bridge Team

The USask Bridge Team in Sherbrooke, Que. (Photo: Submitted)

The USask Bridge Team (USBT) travelled to the Université de Sherbrooke for the 2022 Canadian National Steel Bridge Competition (CNSBC).

The team was thrilled with its second-place finish in the aesthetic category of the competition. It also finished fifth in the oral presentation.

The USBT did not receive a ranking in several categories nor in the final standings as its bridge did not meet a design criterion in the connection safety section of the competition rules. Three other groups experienced the same issue at the eight-team competition, which is organized by the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering and Canadian Institute of Steel Construction.

“On behalf of USBT I want to thank all of our sponsors for their support and guidance,” said outgoing team president Arjie De Guzman. “Your contribution was vital in continuing our important work. We would have not succeeded without the generosity of supporters like you.”

He is optimistic about the team’s future. “It was an honour to see our team progress over the years. And, I cannot wait for what the team will accomplish in the following years.”