RRC Students to race concrete toboggan in Ottawa
Alicia Kondrat, CONTRIBUTOR
RRC students are heading back to the slopes to compete in the annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan race.
Engineering students from across Canada will be racing 350-pound toboggans made from concrete, aluminum, and steel in Ottawa Jan. 30. Once again, RRC’s team is striving to win.
“We all design to our strengths,” said team captain Allison Enns, a civil engineering technologist at RRC. “Every engineering type is better at one thing than the other and we use this to our advantage. This helps us create safe and efficient designs.”
The team consists of 15 mechanical technologists and civil engineering technologists studying at RRC’s Notre Dame campus.
The goal is to design and build a toboggan with a metal frame and a running surface made entirely of concrete. The sled must have a working brake system, weigh less than 350-pounds, and have a roll-cage for the protection of its five passengers when they race down the steep hill.
RRC’s team was assembled a couple days after “Back to the Future Day,” which inspired the toboggan’s theme—Back to the Slopes.
“I am obviously going for the most unique structure,” said team member Troy Smith, 21. “We are trying to make it as aerodynamic as possible. We sort of want it to resemble a DeLorean with a sleek design.”
The race is hosted at different locations across Canada each year. Competition is tough, with over 20 teams and 520 students competing.
“This competition really helps engineering students…we are able to meet other aspiring engineers from across the country, apply the skills we have learned in class into a physical object in a fun environment, and schmooze with major engineering companies,” said Enns.
Funding for Back to the Slopes comes from multiple engineering and construction companies across Manitoba. Sponsorship comes in forms of materials, equipment or money. Donors are endorsed at the event by showcasing their logos on the sled.
Awards include best brakes and steering, best costumes, and fastest down the hill. Winners receive small trophies, but the real prize is getting the bragging rights.