Engineering showcase

A student pitches his donation bin redesign to judges at last year’s competition.

First-year engineering students at UBC Okanagan will wrap up their first semester on Friday by showing off designs that will make some people's lives better.

Some 400 students, divided into more than 60 teams, will demonstrate their progress on one of two projects: improving newly designed donation bins or designing innovative devices that can improve the quality of life for students at UBC.

Last year's event garnered headlines as students proposed retrofit options for clothing donation bins to reduce the risk of fatalities.

“In the past, our students have developed innovative designs in important areas such as homeless personal belongings carts and donation bin retrofitting,” said professor Ray Taheri. “Most importantly, they are discovering that engineering can improve the lives of those around them.”

The groups will present their design projects at a showcase event that starts at 3 p.m. in the Richard S. Hallisey Atrium of the Engineering Management and Education building. Panels of judges from industry, academia and the community will short-list the projects and choose winners in a number of categories.