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Laurentian wins big at Canadian Mining Games

Top marks in mine design, rock mechanics and mineral processing events propelled the Bharti School of Engineering team from Laurentian University to a first-place finishin the 22nd Annual Canadian Mining Games held February 23 to 26 in Sudbury.The team from Laurentian ranked among the top three in 12 of the events that make up the competition, completing the Games with a 27-point margin of victory. The team from Polytechnique in Montreal placed second overall, while Université de Laval took third place.

“The competition was fierce,” said Ramesh Subramanian, director of the school. “All of the teams were exceptionally strong this year. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such an extraordinary level of proficiency and talent in this competition.”

Teams of engineering students from 10 universities across Canada take part in the competition, a series of 20 challenges that test the skills of future mining engineers.

Competitors must complete exercises in surveying, mine and equipment design, and mineral separation. They must also demonstrate mastery in jackleg drilling and operation of scoop trams and excavating equipment.

The 2012 Games were “awesome,” according to Team Laurentian member Sean Turcotte, a fourth-year Engineering student.

“All of the teams had a lot of fun competing and everyone was applauding and happy for each other.”

Turcotte was especially pleased with Laurentian’s top finish in the mine design event, an eight-hour exercise with computer-assisted design software. “When they announced we were number one, I just lost all composure,” said Turcotte. “This is the event that proves that your school is the best mining school in Canada.”

Laurentian University’s Bharti School of Engineering is named for engineer and entrepreneur Stan Bharti, CEO of Forbes & Manhattan, who last year endowed the school with a $10-million donation to support engineering programs.

“Just being in Sudbury is a big part of the reason for Laurentian’s strength,” said Games co-chair Craig Allen. “In the competition, we did an actual ventilation survey underground, not a textbook exercise. Having the access we do to real working mines is one reason for the success of the Engineering program.”

“We are so proud of our students, whose spirit and teamwork have brought this prestigious title home to the Bharti School,” said Laurentian University president and vice-chancellor Dominic Giroux. “Their prowess in these mining events is remarkable and they have earned this honour for their program and their university.”

The members of Laurentian’s championship team were: Dusty Nerpin, Graham Macrae, Scott Ross, Sean Turcotte, Curtis Cameron, Gilles Guerin, James Gagne, Ryan Jakov, Pat Pilon, Ian VanEyk, Ian Berdusco, Jessica Dean, Joshua Dufresne and Mike Stanford.

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