Caleb Vandenberg, 22, took first place in Ontario and third place nationwide in an engineering competition for university students.
Ontario Engineering Competition
Vandenberg is a member of Immanuel Christian Reformed Church in Caledon, Ontario, and an engineering student at the University of Guelph (Ontario).
He and his teammates, Mike Bewick, Nick Walters, and David Wood, competed in the consulting engineering category in the Ontario competition where they had to come up with a real-world solution to a real-world problem.
Addressing sanitation issues which are leading to health issues in Addas Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, Vandenberg said their solution was, “a community-scale anaerobic digester. Instead of dumping human waste in the streets where [runoff] can contaminate the water, it is dumped [in the digester] instead. Methane gas is generated and could be used to boil water.”
That solution captured a first-place win at the Ontario level for Vandenberg and his teammates, sending them on to the Canadian Engineering Competition held in Quebec in March, where they placed third nationally.
Vandenberg said that the team was somewhat disappointed with placing third, but that they were happy to have placed, and that these accomplishments will help them in terms of possible future careers with the companies who sponsored the competition.