Innovative projects showcased from winners of the 2024 Student Innovation Challenge

Judges Travis Stevenson, Donald Yen, Jared Fedosoff, Alisa Stephenson and Kenton Low

BCIT celebrated many of our students’ brightest ideas and most creative innovations at the annual Student Innovation Challenge Pitch and Awards Ceremony. Each year, students from across BCIT submit their bright ideas for a chance to win. This year, after a challenging first round of review, 9 entries were short-listed to present at the Pitch round, in a Dragon’s Den style, to a judging panel comprised of industry sponsors and BCIT School of Business + Media Dean Kenton Low. This event provided a platform for aspiring entrepreneurs and inventors, as well as highlighted the depth and diversity of talent across all six BCIT schools.

This year’s challenge was remarkable with a substantial 30% increase in submissions compared to previous years, and submissions from all six BCIT Schools represented in the finalists – underscoring a growing interest in innovation and entrepreneurship within the BCIT community. From applied research, to sustainability and entrepreneurship, every finalist demonstrated the potential to influence industries and improve lives.

Announcing the winners!

Without further ado, here are the winners of the 2024 BCIT Student Innovation Challenge recognizing outstanding achievements in the categories of Applied Research, Entrepreneurship, and Sustainability.

Applied Research:

Mutjaba Saloojee and Dr. Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research

1st Place ($3,000): Elbow Extensor Aid – A tension system for triceps functionality, aiding C-5 spinal cord injury patients in daily activities and rehabilitation. Mutjaba Saloojee, School of Health Sciences, and Mason Breshna, School of Computing and Academic Studies.

2nd Place ($1,500): Dry-Type Transformer Load Distribution Optimization in Commercial Buildings – Optimizing transformer loads in buildings to save money, energy and lower greenhouse emissions. Hardeep Atwal, Bhumika Arora, Marcus Redford, Omar Kebedov, School of Energy.

3rd Place ($500): SilhouetteSync – A real-time fitness tracker that enhances performance and prevents injuries. Kieran MacCarraon, Anton Babiy, Myles Parfeniuk, and On Kang, School of Energy.


Hairun Huang and Dr. Kim Dotto, Dean, Applied Research

1st Place ($3,000): Budget Eats – A community-driven platform designed to find affordable dining options. Hairun Huang, School of Computing and Academic Studies.

2nd Place ($1,500): SafeScan Drone Analytics – Drone-based LiDar for safer, efficient building façade inspections. Andrey Lykov, School of Construction and the Environment.

3rd Place ($500): Bumper Dumper – Portable vehicle hitch toilet seat for outdoor use. Logan Murray, School of Transportation.


Valerie Billard and Donald Yen

1st Place ($3,000): To Sea Beneath – An underwater virtual reality education and entertainment experience. Valerie Billard, School of Business + Media.

2nd Place ($1,500): FishCenS V2 – Monitoring salmon populations with a cost-effective, long-term machine learning solution. Luis Vargas, Weihao Dai, Tristan Huen, Jonathan Sinnathamby, School of Energy.

3rd Place ($500): Wind Turbine Charge Controller – Cost-effective micro wind turbine designed to power homes, especially those in remote communities. Garnett Goodacre, Kurt Querengesser, Seung Uk Lee, Michael Dao, School of Energy.

The 2024 BCIT Student Innovation Challenge brought together a diverse array of talented individuals, each driven by a passion to innovate and make a difference. The platform provided them with a stage to showcase their creations and served as a catalyst for personal growth and validation. Their words echo the spirit of the challenge – inspiring innovators to realize their potential and turn their visions into reality.

“Winning this challenge has reinforced my belief that with determination and the right support, any idea, no matter how simple or small, can evolve into something extraordinary. It’s competitions like these that inspire innovators to transform their ideas into tangible solutions that can genuinely enhance lives.” – Mutjaba Saloojee of the Elbow Extensor Aid project, First Place winner in Applied Research category.

“Winning this challenge is a tremendous honor and a testament to the hard work we’ve put into Budget Eats. I’m deeply grateful for this recognition and the support from BCIT, which not only highlights our efforts but energizes us to continue enhancing our platform and serving our community.” – Hairun Huang of the Budget Eats project, First Place winner in the Entrepreneurship category.

“Having a chance to enter the Student Innovation Challenge was a great opportunity for me to put into practice some of the skills that I have learned in my BCIT courses. Winning the Challenge in the sustainability category was a wonderful experience of validation and encouragement for me that I am indeed on the right track with my goals and my studies. This whole experience was both challenging and fun and I am definitely encouraged by this to continue and complete my program at BCIT and am also excited to see where this will take me.”  – Valerie Billard of To Sea Beneath, First Place winner in the Sustainability category.

A bright future

The 2024 Student Innovation Challenge was a resounding success, highlighting the innovative spirit and potential of BCIT students. Looking forward, we will continue to foster a culture of innovation and creativity through this contest, helping prepare our students to enter the workforce and to transform it. With such a display of talent and ingenuity, the future looks bright for these young innovators!

Acknowledgements and thanks

Thank you to all industry sponsors, many of whom graciously serve on the judging panel, for their invaluable support, which enables us to host this annual challenge. Special thanks are due to Travis Stevenson of  JTS Consulting Inc., Jared Fedesoff of Odlum Brown, Alisa Stephensen of Futurpreneur, and Donald Yen of Urban Solutions, and EB Horsman and Son for their commitment to our students. We also express our appreciation to Kenton Low, our Dean of the School of Business +Media, for his invaluable contributions as a member of the judging panel.

Behind the scenes at BCIT, many individuals and areas come together to produce this event. Thanks to the first-round judges, including Cynthia Van Ginkel, Jonathan Bassan, Joe Boyd, Bryan Grazziano, Nigel Halsted, Alan Stewart, Johanne Mattie, Kim Dotto, and Fardin Barekat, for their time and dedication to identifying the most promising submissions. Immense thanks are owed to Marko Vicic, Cynthia Van Ginkel, Marita Luk, Joanne Chng, and Richard Haire for their efforts, representing every school and getting the word out to faculty and students. Also very helpful on this front were the folks in or Marketing and Communications department and the BCIT Student Association who have provided invaluable support in promoting the Challenge. Finally, we express our gratitude to BCIT President Jeff Zabudsky and Vice President of Academic Jennifer Figner for attending the awards ceremony and celebrating the remarkable ingenuity of BCIT’s students.

Until next year!

About the BCIT Student Innovation Challenge

The BCIT Student Innovation Challenge is an annual contest aimed at providing support, encouragement, and funding to BCIT students who have “bright ideas”. Since its founding, the Student Innovation Challenge has inspired interesting and innovative student projects. The Challenge is managed by the Applied Research Liaison Office in collaboration with BCIT Schools, and the Student Association Entrepreneurial Services.

Leave a comment