Western engineers are once again breaking out their cement mixers for fun and glory. Western’s civil and environmental engineering department is sending six students to compete in the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race in Calgary.
The idea behind concrete toboggan racing is that students create toboggans with running surfaces made completely of concrete. The five-day competition attracts the smart and the brave from all over North America. Toboggan teams will be judged on the basis of speed, concrete mix design, spirit, best breaking system, and the overall prettiness of the toboggan.
The major factor, however, is safety.
“The toboggan must be designed to be safe... there are some design features to protect the students in case the toboggan rolls over,” said supervising faculty member Dr. Maged A. Youssef. “The toboggans are checked before the race, and if they are deemed unsafe they will be unable to compete.”
This will be the first time in several years that
Western will send a team. The 2005 squad consists
of Tyler Ing, Chris Hendriksen, Anthony Stracuzzi,
Chris Kocur, Peter Garbacz and Travis Goodhand.
The competition takes place this weekend.
Martin planning trip to Middle East
OTTAWA (CP) — Canada is preparing to play a significantly more robust role in the Middle East peace process — one that could see Prime Minister Paul Martin visiting Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in late spring.
Foreign Minister Pierre Pettigrew is scheduled to meet the newly elected Palestinian leader on Feb. 9 to determine what role Canada might play in the rejuvenated search for Middle East peace.
Martin spoke to Abbas by telephone last month shortly after Abbas was elected to head the Palestinian authority.
Abbas said he did have specific needs and would send Canadian officials a wish list in the coming weeks.
“The prime minister invited Abbas to come to Canada and Abbas reciprocated with an invitation to the prime minister,” a senior government official said. “The prime minister has expressed an interest in going.”
Canada’s participation in the Middle East peace process has traditionally been limited to overseeing discussions on the right of Palestinian refugees to return to what was once their home in what is now Israel.