Media Releases

Engineering students tackle eight problems nagging Toronto communities

April 11, 2017

Toron­to, ON –  First-year stu­dents in U of T Engi­neer­ing are step­ping up to take on some of the Greater Toron­to Area’s most per­sis­tent prob­lems, from diag­nos­ing infant epilep­sy to find­ing lost arrows at a local archery range.

This Wednes­day, April 12, stu­dents at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to are host­ing a day-long event to show­case their engi­neer­ing solu­tions, from the tech­ni­cal­ly com­plex to the stun­ning­ly obvi­ous, to some of the GTA’s stick­i­est sit­u­a­tions with a wide vari­ety of pro­to­types, ren­der­ings, and more.

The event is the finale of Prax­is, a unique course from U of T’s Engi­neer­ing Sci­ence pro­gram. The course chal­lenges stu­dents to col­lab­o­rate with com­mu­ni­ties, agen­cies and com­pa­nies across the GTA to find new ways of improv­ing the city, includ­ing:

1. Design­ing an adap­tive seat for dis­abled sail­ing

Chal­lenge: A day on the lake brings all sailors feel­ings of inde­pen­dence, joy and free­dom. But for those with phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties, sail­boats can be tricky to manoeu­ver, unpre­dictable and dan­ger­ous. Stu­dents teamed up with the Dis­abled Sail­ing Asso­ci­a­tion of Ontario to cre­ate a com­fort­able, portable, afford­able and safe sail­boat seat for both sailors and vol­un­teers.

2. Tar­get­ing lost arrows at Seaton Park

Chal­lenge: Archers at Seaton Park’s out­door archery range want to keep the time spent hunt­ing for their arrows to a min­i­mum — it can be time-con­sum­ing, frus­trat­ing and dan­ger­ous. Stu­dents worked with the City of Toron­to to pro­pose a vari­ety of cheap and vis­i­ble solu­tions that recon­sid­er every ele­ment of design, from the arrows to the lawn of the archery range.

3. Keep­ing a local fam­i­ly busi­ness rolling

Chal­lenge: G&S Dye is a fam­i­ly-run fab­ric and dye busi­ness in down­town Toron­to. With only one employ­ee, inven­to­ry, shelf stock­ing and cus­tomer ser­vice are time-con­sum­ing process­es that direct­ly affect the company’s bot­tom line. Stu­dents devised a suite of solu­tions for improv­ing stor­age, rolling and cut­ting, and trans­port­ing heavy fab­ric at G&S.

Plus stu­dent solu­tions for these orga­ni­za­tions:

  • Improv­ing acces­si­bil­i­ty and user expe­ri­ence at a gallery show­cas­ing works by dis­abled artists — Tan­gled Art Gallery
  • Stim­u­lat­ing res­i­dents with demen­tia — St. George Care Com­mu­ni­ty
  • Redesign­ing wheel­chairs to reduce pres­sure sores — Kens­ing­ton Gar­dens Res­i­den­tial Home
  • Diag­nos­ing a rare form of epilep­sy in infants — Temer­ty Temer­ty Fac­ul­ty of Med­i­cine, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
  • Enhanc­ing inde­pen­dence in the kitchen for stu­dents with phys­i­cal and cog­ni­tive con­di­tions — Kohai Edu­ca­tion­al Cen­tre

At the Prax­is show­case, stu­dents unveil their pro­posed designs and receive imme­di­ate feed­back from their clients, com­mu­ni­ty rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and pro­fes­sion­al engi­neers, as well as mem­bers of the gen­er­al pub­lic. All are wel­come.


What: U of T Engi­neer­ing – Prax­is II Show­case
Date:  Wednes­day, April 12, 2017
Loca­tion: Great Hall, Hart House (7 Hart House Cir­cle)
Pub­lic Show­case: 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Media Show­case: 11:30 am – 1:30 pm (Media wel­come to attend through­out the event)


Media con­tact:
Mar­it Mitchell, Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Engi­neer­ing; 647–228-4358 (cell)