Niagara College hosts annual high school design and build competition

Niagara College will welcome 28 students from the Niagara Catholic District School Board to its Rankin Technology Centre on Saturday, March 5 for the Professional Engineers of Ontario’s (PEO) Engineering and Design Competition.

Organized by the PEO Niagara Chapter, the competition is part of a series of activities taking place worldwide to mark National Engineering Month. As part of a challenge designed by faculty in Niagara College’s School of Technology, seven teams of four students will design and build Gantry cranes, which require a stable structure and gear and pulley systems using provided materials. The goal of the challenge is to build the crane that can lift the heaviest load without breaking. Niagara College professors have designed a testing device that will test the strength of the crane by lifting an electronic load cell.

“We’re very excited to partner with Niagara College to bring the Second Annual Design and Build Challenge to high school students,” said Lindsay Mooradian, EIT, event coordinator for PEO Niagara Chapter. “Our goal is to promote the profession to as many young people as possible and get them excited about a career engineering and technology. It is such a diverse and rewarding career of people working for people to help shape the world around us, and it is essential to the safety, health, happiness, comfort and efficiency of our friends and family. We wish all teams the best of luck in creating their gantry crane prototypes.”

Through its School of Technology, Niagara College offers engineering technician and technologist programs in computers, civil engineering, construction, electrical and electronics, mechanical, motive power, photonics, renewable energies and welding.

“We’re very excited to welcome these students to Niagara College for the Second Annual Engineering Design & Build Competition,” said Misheck Mwaba, PhD, P.Eng., Niagara College’s dean of Media, Trades and Technology. “There are tremendous opportunities in the field of engineering and this is a great opportunity for students who may be considering a career in this area to speak to our faculty, and experience our leading-edge facilities and equipment first-hand.”

Participating schools include Notre Dame College School; Saint Paul Catholic High School; Saint Michael Catholic High School; and Denis Morris Catholic High School.

“Niagara Catholic is grateful for the many organizations in our community, such as the Professional Engineers of Ontario, which provide these very enriching co-instructional opportunities for our students,” said Niagara Catholic director of education, John Crocco. “Opportunities such as these provide students with enriching experiences which enhance their in-class lessons taught by our very talented teachers. They also provide our students with the chance to make connections with individuals working in their respective fields, allowing them to learn more about the various career opportunities available to them. I’m certain that the 28 Niagara Catholic students who are participating in Saturday’s event are very grateful for the chance to learn from professionals, and to be working in a setting such as the Rankin Technology Centre at Niagara College.”

The design and build portion of the competition takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in rooms TC 02 and TC 05. Testing, presentations and judging will take place from 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. in rooms TC 68 and TC55.

The Ontario Association of Certified Engineering Technicians and Technologists (OACETT) is also assisting in the design and build competition. OACETT is a non-profit, self-governing, professional association of over 24,000 members. OACETT is Ontario’s independent certifying body for engineering and applied science technicians and technologists and confers the designations C.Tech. (Certified Technician) and C.E.T. (Certified Engineering Technologist).

“OACETT is always looking for ways to introduce the world of engineering technology to the next generation of technicians and technologists,” said Gilles Laroche, CET, professor and coordinator of Niagara College’s Civil Engineering Technician program and the college’s OACETT liaison. “Having a group of motivated high school students wanting to be involved in this competition is great news for all involved.”

The Professional Engineers of Ontario (PEO) is the licensing body for 70,000 Professional Engineers in the province of Ontario. PEO is organized at the local level through 36 chapters across the province. These chapters are the link between the association, its members and the public. The chapters deliver educational outreach, technical, and social/sporting events to their membership. The organizer of this event is the PEO Niagara Chapter, and represents approximately 1,630 Engineers and Engineers-in-Training from the entire Region, from St. Catharines to Port Colborne, and Grimsby to Niagara Falls.

Niagara College offers more than 100 diploma, bachelor degree and advanced level programs at campuses in Welland, Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Niagara Falls; as well as more than 600 credit, vocational and general interest Continuing Education courses. Areas of specialization include food and wine sciences, advanced technology, media, applied health and community safety, supported by unique learning enterprises in food, wine, beer, horticulture and esthetics. For more information visit


Media inquiries, please contact:

Michael Wales                                                   Julie Greco
Senior Communications Officer                        Communications Specialist
Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7773                         Office: 905.735.2211 ext. 7368
Cell: 905.328.4101                                            Cell: 905.328.2532                     

Lindsay Mooradian
Event Coordinator
Professional Engineers of Ontario, Niagara Chapter
Office: 905-346-0989 ext. 312
Cell: 289-228-3731

Jennifer Pellegrini
Communications Officer
Niagara Catholic District School Board
905.735.0240 ext. 297