Students showcase the best in technical communication

The 7th Annual Presentation Idol wrapped up this week, crowning Navtej Heir from Electrical Engineering as judges’ choice first place winner for the second year in a row.

The event offered a fascinating field of topics to audience members who filled the Great Hall, ranging from robot design to building automation analytics.

Navtej took home $1000 for his presentation Driverless Cars: When Robots Rule the Road. He was joined on the podium by second place ($700) winner Dean Tamboline with Superconductors and How They Could Save Your Life, and third place ($400) winner Julie Cantes who discussed Making our Infrastructure more Resilient to Climate Change. Audience choice awards went to Stacey Neves with Municipal Capital Construction: The Good, the Bad & the Ugly, as well as Dean and Julie. The full list of finalist topics is on the website.

First place judges’ choice winner Navtej Heir is congratulated by BCIT Associate Vice President James Rout

Presentation Idol challenges students to sharper their technical communication skills in preparation for their future work in industry. Students present in two rounds, and the top two in each of four first round rooms advance to the final. The event is sponsored by three BCIT schools: Computing and Academic Studies, Construction and the Environment, and Energy.

Prizes were contributed by AME Group, PCL Constructors, Copperleaf Technologies, ASTTBC, ACECBC, Armtec, KD Engineering, APEG BC, and the BCIT part time Technical Writing Program. The majority of event judges come from industry, offering students a chance to network with and get feedback from potential employers. Companies and organizations represented on judging panels in the first and second rounds of competition included the companies listed above as well as AES Engineering, BC Tech Association, TELUS, and Polyga.

Started by Communication Department instructors Katherine Golder, Deanna Levis, and Darlene Webb, and inspired by Communication Program Head Jean Scribner, Presentation Idol shows just how seriously BCIT takes the whole range of skills that lead to workplace success. In fact, Darlene was recently recognized internationally for her leadership in technical communication through the Emily K. Schlesinger Award for Outstanding Service to the IEEE Professional Communication Society (IEEE PCS).

“We know our students need to be able to translate complex technical information to communicate in plain language with employers, clients, co-workers and the public,” explains Jean Scribner. “Presentation Idol helps them hone those skills before they graduate.”​

Check out the event photos by Scott McAlpine.

2017 Presentation Idol finalists (left to right): Julie Cantes, Kevin Hong, Stacey Neves, Dean Tamboline, Matt Leemet, Navtej Heir, Steve Cohos, and Alex Baumann

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