McMaster Engineering students slide into the week with a concrete toboggan
The McMaster Engineering Concrete Toboggan Team at the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race in Kelowna, B.C.
A team of Faculty of Engineering students have been hard at work since the fall — drafting plans, welding, mixing and pouring concrete, using a belt sander, bandsaw and other tools, executing a slew of hands-on, high-precision tasks as they crafted their masterpiece.
This past weekend, they shoved it down a hill.
The McMaster Engineering Concrete Toboggan Team (MECTT) — and their tribute to the Monster Machine from Scooby Doo — joined teams from across Canada at the annual Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race, speeding down the snowy slopes in Kelowna, B.C.
Each team designs and builds a custom toboggan whose “roll cage” can safely carry five passengers down a hill, with fully functional steering and braking.
Despite the event’s name, this part of the toboggan is not made of concrete. And a good thing, too, because there’s a 350 lbs. weight limit for the toboggans.
Most of that weight comes from the toboggan’s skis — the parts that do the actual sliding on the snow — which are, in fact, concrete.
After passing a safety inspection, each toboggan is judged on criteria such as design, ingenuity and innovation and performance in the actual race.
The McMaster team took the top spot for best overall team spirit, best performing toboggan, best braking performance and best frame design.
Their toboggan’s Scooby Doo-inspired design also netted them first place for most aesthetically pleasing toboggan.
“MECTT is super excited and proud about our performance at the first in-person GNCTR since 2020,” said co-captains Nik Bennett and Kristin Seymour.
“Our team proudly represented what McMaster Engineering is all about and we hope to only improve in the years to come.”