UVEC is the qualifying event for the Western Engineering Competition (WEC), being hosted in January 2018 in Vancouver, BC. Find more details on WEC here: http://wec2018.ca

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Teams of four or third fourth year students are given twelve hours to design and construct a working prototype from given materials that can solve an engineering challenge. This challenge tests the competitors’ technical skills, as well as time management and teamwork. Teams present their solutions to judges using real-world justifications, then test the prototype according to the given functional requirements.


Competitors are asked to describe a technical subject in lay-man’s terms. They must consider the economic and environmental aspects of their subject, and provide a persuasive conclusion regarding the potential benefits, risks, or effect their subject has on the world.


During the given time, teams of four must develop an economically feasible solution to a current real world problem. This challenge is the largest in scope of all competitions, and tests the students’ abilities in balancing ambition with practicality, technical capabilities with economics, and social benefits with environmental costs. Successful solutions will have considered every stage of the engineering design process.


The Impromptu Debate category challenges participants to defend, from a given viewpoint, a topic disclosed just before the debate. Each team is composed of two members and they are expected to present a structured defense of the assigned non-technical topic. They are given just 10 minutes to prepare and will need to rely on their intelligence and wit to construct and deliver convincing arguments.


This challenge tests the competitors’ creativity and understanding of real world engineering problems. In eight hours, teams of two students are presented with a practical objective which must be accomplished by redesigning an existing product or process such that its functionality is improved or re-purposed. They present their solutions to a panel of judges, and are evaluated based on functionality, practicality, cost, and marketability.


This category can be one of the most technical categories at WEC. A team of 1-4 students must present a ground-breaking solution to a problem of their choosing, though it is encouraged to align with the theme. The solutions are expected to be fully researched and developed by the date of the competition. Many students have created their own businesses using their innovative designs. Students present their devices in a fair-like setting which is open to the public, and of course, judges.


The goal of the Programming category is to encourage software engineering students to produce professional quality software with all the proper user and administrative documents. The teams will use their software development skills, technical writing abilities, and project management skills to design a solution.