Engineering Competitions are an opportunity for student and schools to showcase their ability to innovate and solve real world and design problems. The Canadian Engineering Competition (CEC) is an annual competition involving more than 170 of the best and brightest engineering students from across Canada. The competition “strives to expand and advance the education of our future engineers”. All competitors qualify through one of four regional competitions:

  • Atlantic Engineering Competition (AEC)
  • Ontario Engineering Competition (OEC)
  • Quebec Engineering Competition (WEC)
  • Western Engineering Competition (WEC)ESSCO is responsible for facilitating the Ontario Engineering Competition; bidding for the OEC takes place during plenary at ESSCO conferences or teleconferences. Since the Ontario Engineering Competition typically occurs in early in the year, it is currently recommended by ESSCO that competing schools host their qualifying competitions during the fall term in preparation for the OEC.

    For ESSCO member schools, the progression to the Canadian Engineering Challenge goes like this:

    The Ontario Engineering Competition

    The OEC is an annual gathering of Ontario Engineering Students, who have won competitions at their respective universities and are invited to compete on the provincial level to share their talent and qualify for the CEC. The winning teams from school competitions typically get sent to the OEC to represent their schools and the winners of those teams to CEC. The most recent Ontario Engineering Challenge was hosted by Carleton University. The competition has developed extensively since its founding in 1980 and now hosts 8 different competitions with a focus on innovation, design and communications at a variety of levels for Senior and Junior Engineering Students. These competitions, as described by the 2016 OEC organizers are:

    Junior Design
    Given a short four hours and a confining budget, junior engineering students are tasked with designing and constructing a prototype that demonstrates an innovative and practical solution to a previously undisclosed problem.

    Senior Design
    Given a short six hours and a confining budget, senior engineering students are tasked with designing and constructing a prototype that demonstrates an innovative and practical solution to a previously undisclosed problem.

    Parliamentary Debates
    Engineers are often required to evaluate design proposals and convince key stakeholders of the associated benefits or drawbacks, often with little notice. This category asks competitors to defend or refute a previously undisclosed subject in the style of parliamentary debates.

    Engineering Communication
    Competitors are asked to prepare a presentation detailing the various societal impacts of an engineering process or issue in a manner that can be easily understood by an audience of various technological backgrounds.

    Innovative Design
    Developed outside of the competition, teams bring their creative and unique solutions to an identified engineering technology gap of their choosing to be assessed by the judges.

    Engineering students are asked to construct industry-quality software that provides a solution to a previously undisclosed problem.



    Given a short six hours, engineering students are tasked with developing a practical solution to a previously undisclosed problem that demonstrates social, environmental, technological, and economical resourcefulness.Re-Engineering
    Teams are challenged to reengineer a relevant design under a new set of constraints while accounting for economic impact. Solutions are judged based on practicality, originality, feasibility and marketability.


    If you are interested in placing a bid for your school to host an upcoming Ontario Engineering Competition, please contact your Engineering Society VP External or President and email for more information