Mechatronics teams prep for Skills Ontario competition

Published On March 3, 2020 | By Rob Lamberti | News, Sci/Tech
Abigael Ruto

Nickolas de Boer discovered his passion while young and has kept his light burning and is now competing with seniors in Humber’s electromechanical engineering program at for the mechatronics provincial qualifiers.

The 18-year-old first-year student has been in high school robotics team for six years and counts on his experience to score higher heights.

“Before coming to Humber, I was part of a robotics team, we did a lot similar things with limited time to prepare or build robots,” Boer said.

Maramawit Demisse focuses on her machine in the BCT for the annual Mechatronic event on Feb. 20 at the Barrett Centre at Humber College North campus. (Melanie Valente-Leite)

The final college level skills qualifying competition was held at the Barrett Centre building at Humber North on Feb. 20.

Students in the electromechanical engineering program went through a six-hour-long test to make the cut and participate in the Ontario provincial level.

“We have a good track record,” Anthony Nyman, a technologist at Barrett Center of Innovation said. “We have won gold and silver in the provincials.”

Skills Ontario competition will be held between May 4 and 6 at the Toronto Congress Centre. Winners head for the nationals in Vancouver to represent Humber College before facing off in world competitions in Shanghai, China.

Anthony Nyman, a technologist with the Faculty of Applied Sciences and Technology, at the final Humber skills competition on Feb. 20. (Abigael Ruto)

Last year Humber College’s Bogdan Malynovskyy and Mateusz Cwalinski came fourth at the world competitions in Kazan, Russia.

Humber has been participating in skills competitions for about 15 years and have won numerous medals, Nyman said.

“In 2017, some of our students qualified for the nationals and succeeded to be on Team Canada for the world’s competition, went to Abu Dhabi and scooped a bronze medal against about 40 other countries,” he said.

In order to qualify, students must demonstrate good technical skills, accuracy and ensure equipment’s functionality Nyman said.

Students have to win the first and second places at the Ontario competitions to march into the nationals.

Preparations for the provincial competitions begin in September where students get together weekly and train.

“We train for nine to 15 hours every week,” Boer said.

Coaching for basics lasts six weeks before the first elimination level among students is conducted, he said.

The training is a combination of mechanical and electronic engineering. Students are paired on the first cut and remain a team to the end.

Just like his partner Boer, Zachary Kennedy, 23, has always had a passion in physics and robotics since high school.

The first year in electromechanical engineering program is aiming for the global competition and believes that teamwork will be handy.

“Teamwork for this competition is key,” Kennedy said. “We have six hours but so far we have finished in half the time.”

The winners in this year’s mechatronics event were: 

Gold in the senior category: Marko Gunja and Hartej Tapia

Gold in the junior category: Zack Kennedy and Nickolas de Boer

Silver in the senior category: Alex Mosor and Suhail Mohammed

Silver in the junior category: Silver: Jordan Regada and Jarod Lin

Bronze in the junior category: Diego Quintero and Theresa Martinez

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