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Hitting the slopes

SAIT wins big at Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race

Members of the SAIT Concrete Toboggan team show off their sled in Winnipeg on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The team placed fifth out of 21 teams in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race.

Members of the SAIT Concrete Toboggan team show off their sled in Winnipeg on Wednesday, March 8, 2017. The team placed fifth out of 21 teams in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race.

Back in February, SAIT competed with multiple colleges and universities across the country in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race, an engineering challenge where students are tasked with creating a fully functioning sled with multiple mechanical parts. 

The SAIT team of designers and engineers, with their ‘Super Smash Boggon’ placed fifth overall out of 21 competing teams. 

They also acquired the titles for: Fastest Run, Top Speed, Best Steering and Best Tournament Performance. 

Landen Brockmann, a second-year mechanical engineering technology student, head of roll cage and frame and one of the “spirit captains” for the team, said that the toboggan club has been improving and growing since its inception. 

“We were a lot more prepared than last year,” said Brockmann.

 “It’s mostly due to our leaders. They were organized and helped the club move forward.”

The engineering competition runs every year and is designed to allow students from across the country to compete as well as to share and learn technical skills from each other. “First place is a lot more on the technical side,” said Brockmann. 

“The universities that beat us do better in that department because they have four years of schooling and a lot more background learning.

“At SAIT, we are more hands-on.” 

Brockmann attributes the winning of multiple awards in the development departments to this hands-on learning. 

“We got a lot of shout outs from the judges for our design.”

During the development of the sled, the toboggan club worked closely with SAIT’s Applied Research and Innovation team (ARIS), who have developed a relationship beneficial for troubleshooting design problems. 

“You learn a lot from pushing through the designs,” said Brockmann. 

“ARIS will tell you why it won’t work, and then you have to start working around it.”

SAIT’s hands-on system of education fosters connections like this between programs and allows students to create something practical in the world today. 

“I highly recommend it,” said Brockmann on the experience. 

“It teaches you a lot about what it [actually] takes to produce something. The meetings, doing drawing reviews, working with ARIS. You get a lot from class, but it’s just the initial learning stage.

“This gives you experience you would have out in the industry.” 

Brockmann and the talented team behind this year’s ‘Super Smash Boggon’ encourage anyone interested in gaining practical knowledge outside the classroom to join next year. 

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