Favourite Sessions at PEO-SC

Authors: Bassel Agroam and Paavan Raj

The UES sent two delegates to PEO-SC, Bassel Agroam and Paavan Raj. Both delegates outline their favourite session at the conference below.

Bassel Agroam - Hyperloop Session

At the Professional Engineers of Ontario Student Conference, or PEO-SC, one the presenters was Dr. Sayed Hashemi. A Professor at Ryerson University in the department of Aerospace Engineering. He gave a presentation about his teams work on the Hyperloop and spoke on the technical aspect of the project. To give a little bit of background information on the Hyperloop, this is a proposed mode of travel that comprises of sealed tube system in which it is near vacuum where a pod may travel free of air resistance or friction at optimal speed and acceleration. The initial purpose of the Hyperloop is to cut travel time for passengers but to as well remove freight trucks off highways that would free up traffic. His team is developing a Hyperloop Deployable Wheel Subsystem that would be deployed at the beginning of a Hyperloop trip between the speeds of 0km/h and 100km/h as well as near the end of the trip from 100km/h to a full stop. Dr. Sayed and his team even went to the Hyperloop Design Competition at the Texas A&M University and had won recognition from many members of the engineering and innovation community.

This subsystem is based on a planes landing gear and I was really fascinated by how passionate Dr. Sayed was was presenting about his project. I could see the room fill up with excitement and interest as of course this was an engineering conference and any technical project will peak interest into an engineer. Dr. Sayed talked about how professional development isn’t only based on getting a job and acting professional in the field but in the experience you get from any technical project. He went on to say that even he learned professional development from his students that were involved in the project and how he was surprised that someone at his age could still benefit from learning.

Overall I really enjoyed this session as it showed me that even our technical projects that we work on can help drive our professional development and help us succeed in our careers.

Paavan Raj - Engineering and Entrepreneurship

Over the course of the PEO SC Conference weekend, I was able to meet a lot of new, interesting engineers who all had different views on everything from the feasibility of a Hyperloop Transport System to whether or not Bitcoin was a good investment option. But meeting all these new people wasn’t the only interesting thing that was done that weekend, as we had a multitude of speakers come in and discuss various topics related to engineering. The one particular session that I found to be the most interesting was the one about how engineers make excellent entrepreneurs. This session I found particularly engaging because the presenters discussed how engineers are inherently strong problem solvers. They the proceeded to have a challenge where all attendees were “given” $50 and asked to turn a profit from it. The ideas that some individuals proposed were creative in how they solved a problem but simple in how it was implemented, which was a testament to how engineers perceive the world differently. Finally, one moment that really stuck with me was a just a simple slide with a collection of billionaire entrepreneurs, and the presenter asking what they all had in common. Obviously the first response was yelled out was “They all have more money than me!” The presenter simply laughed and pointed out that they were all engineers, and upon closer inspection the faces I did recognize were indeed engineers. This was a shock for me because I could only name 5 engineer-entrepreneurs, but this slide had some 25+ individuals. After this session, I really started thinking about how engineers really do have the skill set necessary to be successful entrepreneurs and because of this I opened my future career considerations to include entrepreneurship as well!