McMaster Civil Engineering capstone team tops national competition  – Faculty of Engineering

McMaster Civil Engineering capstone team tops national competition 

group photo of people posing with a certificate.

McMaster University’s Civil Engineering Capstone Design Team secured first place at the nationwide Capstone Design Competition in Niagara Falls, Ontario. The competition, held alongside the annual conference of the Canadian Society for Civil Engineering (CSCE) from June 5 to 7, included participation from 18 teams across the country. 

Team members Natalie Cameron, Jack Ducheck, Kyle Irwin, Mack Wallhouse and Justin Wiseman were invited to the national competition after winning the McMaster Civil Engineering Capstone Competition on campus in April. Together, they presented their project in an oral and poster presentation and were announced as the winners of this year’s competition at the CSCE Awards Gala. 

“The outstanding performance of the McMaster Civil Engineering team is a testament to our innovative approach to engineering education, and our overarching commitment to building healthier communities for a brighter world,” says Moncef Nehdi, Professor and outgoing Chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at McMaster.  

Winning project: The Great Lakes International Formula 1 Race Circuit 

The McMaster team, Velocity Engineering, presented their project centred on the Great Lakes International Formula 1 Race Circuit. This ambitious design aims to transform Fort Erie, Ontario, into an entertainment hub, drawing tourists from around the globe for Formula 1’s newest race weekend.  

The venue features a 6.7 km racetrack meeting all Formula 1 specifications, a three-storey visitor’s centre with garages, event spaces, concessions and a top-floor balcony overlooking the track’s start-finish straight. Additionally, the site includes 31 standalone modular grandstands, providing seating for over 100,000 spectators and essential trackside services. 

model replica of a Formula F1 racetrack.
close up of racecar toys on a Formula F1 model track.

The project concept was inspired by Irwin’s passion for Formula 1 paired with the social goal to boost the local economy in Fort Erie by attracting tourism. The team utilized their classroom learnings over their undergraduate degree combined with their hands-on involvement in technical teams.  

Professors and teaching assistants provided essential guidance outside class hours, helping the team navigate complex engineering challenges. The team credits the invaluable guidance of their Capstone instructors Samir Chidiac, Peijun Guo, Yiping Guo and Zoe Li. 

Learn more about the capstone experience at McMaster Engineering