May 16, 2023

2nd-year engineering class forgoes final exams in favour of collaborative design work

Integrated Learning Systems students showcase innovative year-end projects at demo day
ILS Projects 1
Schulich School of Engineering students show off their hands-on projects in their Integrated Learning Systems class. Fritz Tolentino

Like in the Alice Cooper classic, School’s Out, there were no more pencils and no more books for a class of Schulich School of Engineering students at the end of the winter term.

Instead of the usual written tests, the second-year electrical and software engineering students showcased their innovative design projects during a demo day April 21.

Judged by faculty and community members, the projects were a wrap-up for their Integrated Learning Systems (ILS) class.

“Our students have been diligently using their learned knowledge of electrical engineering to develop products that address real-world problems,” says Dr. Laleh Behjat, PhD, who is one of the ILS instructors.

“The demo day is an opportunity for them to present their innovative ideas, creative solutions and technical skills.”

From mobile apps and siren detectors to watering pots and an electronic emotional support cat, the students were proud to see their ideas finally come to life.

“This is like no other class I’ve ever had,” says Ethan Sallis, who teamed up with Luiz Felipe Gama di Grado and Jayen Hirani to produce HydroHealth, a water bottle with a built-in medication dispenser that runs on an app. “We really enjoyed being able to get hands-on experience in building something from scratch, and going through the successes and failures to get us to this point today.”

Behjat says the ILS project challenge will serve the students well as they continue their education at Schulich, as it’s similar to the fourth-year Engineering Design Fair.