Engineering student team wins award for assistive device

Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design
Student life
Awards and recognition
The winning student team and their TetraNation certificate.
From left to right: Zitai Peng, Tony Kim and Jingyi Jiang, the winning student team.
Through their engineering design courses, students at the Faculty of Engineering have been creating assistive devices for people with physical disabilities. One project in particular, a pickup stick, has received national recognition from the Tetra Society of North America.

The Tetra Society of North America uses skilled volunteers to create innovative solutions and build custom-made assistive devices for people with physical disabilities. The devices are provided at no cost to help people overcome environmental barriers and experience greater independence, quality of life and inclusion.  

In 2023, an assistive device produced by a uOttawa engineering student team won an award for top item in the Central Region in a Tetra Society contest.

The uOttawa students’ winning product was chosen out of 100 unique submissions based on cross-country voting. It was a uniquely-powered pickup stick or grabber customized for a young girl without the hand strength needed to use a normal grabber. At the client’s request, 3D printed parts were done in pink and provided extra forearm support.

The award certificate for the pickup stick was presented to the Faculty of Engineering’s Centre for Entrepreneurship and Engineering Design (CEED) by the Ottawa Tetra chapter on behalf of the Tetra Society, along with the prize money.

Over the past four years, the Ottawa Tetra chapter has collaborated with CEED and the campus Tetra Club to produce 24 unique assistive devices.

CEED and the Tetra Club have carried out the design and development for a variety of Tetra projects. The main source of products is the Introduction to Product Development and Management for Engineers and Computer Scientists (GNG 2101) course, where multidisciplinary student teams create innovative solutions for different clients. Students in the Tetra Club also work on accessibility projects for clients in the community. This collaboration has allowed many engineering students to use their engineering and design skills to have a positive impact on other people’s lives.

Congratulations again to the winning student team on their innovative pickup stick! See a video of the students’ winning product.