UVic-Camosun collaboration helps train students for competitions

By Stephanie Willerth

13 students stand together, wearing welding visors in the “up” position so their faces show

Students from UVic’s competitive engineering teams are getting hands-on training in welding as part of a collaboration with Camosun College.

2020 February – A second group of UVic students is taking advantage of a special welding course at Camosun College that will help prepare each of them for international engineering competitions against other student teams.

The 13 students are learning to weld two evenings a week until the end of February. The first group completed the same 10-session course in November.

UVic’s Faculty of Engineering serves as home for a number of student design teams – including UVic Hybrid, the UVic Submarine Club, UVic Formula Motorsport and UVic Rocketry – which compete in international competitions based on their skill in engineering design and fabrication. These competitions require the fabrication of complex designs often requiring significant hands-on skill.

Olaf Nielsen, Camosun’s chair of trades development and special projects, was eager to help when UVic’s Stephanie Willerth inquired about the possibility of holding a welding course specifically for UVic engineering students. Willerth is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and faculty advisor to the UVic Formula Motorsport team.

Camosun’s Continuing Education and Contract Training department made the arrangements, including finding an instructor and scheduling the sessions. The course is partially subsidized by UVic’s Faculty of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering as an investment in the success of the student teams.

Student working with an instructor in a machine shop at Camoson
The first group of students to take the course completed it in November.

The first group of 11 UVic students received certificates of completion on Nov. 25.

“The skills we learned in the course will be invaluable as we construct our newly designed frame for the UV20 racecar in the upcoming months,” said Blake Sigwin, team leader of UVic Formula Motorsport and an electrical engineering undergraduate, who was part of the first group.

This successful collaboration shows one of the unique ways that Camosun College and UVic can partner together when training the next generation of engineers.

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