The Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race

This past weekend, twelve engineering students participated in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race design competition in Toronto. Universities from all across Canada traveled to Toronto in order to participate in the competition, which has been going on for 46 years. Undergrad students are required to design a toboggan that can safely hold five riders, have concrete running surfaces and have a fully functional steering and braking systems, all while weighing less than 300lbs.

The team has been working since late March 2019 in order to prepare for the competition, from designing the roll cage to withstand an impact, to building the toboggan, and then finally racing the toboggan on Saturday.

The competition consists of three segments. The first day is competitor interaction day, where teams are broken up and mixed into other groups in order to get to know some of the 550 students that attend the competition. The next day is the technical exhibition, where each team presents their theme to all other competitors, shows off their toboggan, and conducts technical presentations for the judges of the competition.

RMC’s team, The Royal Canadian Bogganeers, represented RMC well, winning the competition’s People’s Choice award.  The effort displayed by the RMC team whenever there was a toboggan crash was outstanding, as the whole team sprinted up the hill to assist any necessary personnel.

The Royal Canadian Bogganeers would like to thank the RMC Foundation and the Department of Civil Engineering for their generous support in GNCTR 2020. The opportunity to compete in this renowned competition is irreplaceable and greatly enhances the education of those who attend. The competition provides an opportunity to take on roles as a project manager, design lead, and construction lead, as well as provides valuable shop experience. The ability to see how a project progresses from concept to design, through fabrication and construction into testing is cemented through participation in this competition. – OCdt Brady French