The Ontario Engineering Competition (aka OEC) is an annual engineering competition, bringing the brightest and the most talented engineering students from across Ontario together for a gripping three days of competitions. Each team brings a unique edge to one of seven different competitions; from programming, to prototype development, to debates, there is a challenge suited for any taste!
This year, OEC will be held at the University of Waterloo from January 27th to 29th 2016. Winners of the Lakehead Engineering Competition will be flown to Toronto and then bused to Waterloo. The current webpage and information for the 2016 OEC can be found at http://oec2016.io/.
From previous years, and should you be so lucky to have the opportunity to go, there are a few things to keep in mind.
- This is a serious competition involving schools from all over Ontario. Many of the schools such as Waterloo wear matching suits and ties, to ensure that at a glance you can tell they’re a team. There are numerous industry sponsors for this event, and as well company representatives who will either be seated at your table during meal times or will be within hearing distance – pretend your parents are around and you’ll do fine. Not only will acting appropriately look well on Lakehead, but it will also give you a better chance of getting a job as those reps are there to watch for a reason.
- You are representing Lakehead Engineering – in and out of the competition. This means respectable behavior at all times to ensure that you are performing to the best of your abilities. After the awards ceremony there will be a chance to celebrate, so wait until then!
- Be prepared. Before the competition even starts, you will have flown from Thunder Bay to Toronto, found the bus, checked into your hotel, and then sat around to wait while the competition starts. Not having enough sleep from the night before will definitely wreck your day as the design time can start around 7:00 pm and not end until 2:00am. Other good ideas include having a pre-made blank presentation covering the technical components of a design. This is something that is easy to create beforehand and will save you a lot of time during the competition.
- Have fun! While this may turn out to be a stressful time for you, it’s also a great opportunity to meet peers from across the province and see what the best and brightest of Ontario has to offer. If you get the chance to drop in and view other categories, such as debates, communications, or other design challenges, take it – there’s a lot of interesting things going on, you just have to find them!