It’s all downhill from here
By Brandy Calvert
It’s all downhill from here.
Schulich civil engineering students are almost ready to roll—in a 300-pound concrete toboggan—at the 2008 Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race at the end of January in Quebec.
Named Rocky Balboggan, the toboggan recently had its first field test down the ski slope at Canada Olympic Park.
“It was probably one of the best chances to see theory versus practice,” said Chase Babiuk, project co-manager and fourth-year engineering student.
The test runs were successful, but revealed some design flaws, said Babiuk.
“The second run showed that if there's a super elevation to the hill, we may run into some problems, as the toboggan followed the hill and not our specified direction.”
After some adjustments in the lab, 30 members of the team will travel with the sled to the University of Sherbrooke to compete in the race Jan. 30 to Feb. 2.
The competition, which originated in 1974 in Calgary, will host 24 teams from across Canada who will be judged not only on speed and design but also on research, innovation and team spirit.
The Calgary team won the champion title in 2000 and 2004.