People

Sweet teams are made of this

ATA Gears is proud to present a group of talented Finnish students who participated in EBEC, the largest engineering competition in Europe. By means of great innovativeness and team spirit, they waded all the way to the honorable 3rd place!

EBEC (European BEST Engineering Competition) challenges students to solve tasks provided by BEST (Board of European Students of Technology) or by partner companies in 3 different competition levels.

ATA Gears was the main sponsor in the local round of EBEC at Tampere University of Technology. The company also supported the winning team in the second round, EBEC Nordic in Sweden, and in the final competition in Portugal. Their 3rd place was a spectacular achievement, since the total amount of first round participants was 6,500.

The victorious first rounds

The successful team included Laura Salo, Niko Niemelä, Niko Tissari, Kim Kurki and also Sampsa Martikainen who participated in the first round. They competed in the Team Design category where the object was to build devices or machines for certain tasks. The planning and building time, budget and materials were limited and finally the projects were presented in front of authoritative juries.

The first round‘s challenge in Tampere was to build a ‘Rube Goldberg Machine’ which performs a simple task in the most complicated way possible. The team‘s victorious machine woke up a tired student with a bucket of cold water and some breakfast.

“In the second round in Gothenburg, we were given some spaghetti, glue and cord. The task was to compose a lift bridge bearing as much weight as possible in respect of its own weight", explains Mr Niemelä.

“After that we had to built a remote controlled mobile robot that can extinguish four candles. We focused mainly on the extinguishing power, and our sturdy water cannon was the only device to get the candles turned off”, laughs Mr Kurki.

Drilling and skiboarding to the bronze medal

“Continuing the competition in Portugal felt great, like a prize itself. The final round lasted for 1,5 week including four competition days and other special events. We even had time to enjoy some tourist life", says Ms Salo.

The first final task in Porto was an ‘oil drill’. It needed to drill a path through layers of sand, soil, styrofoam and cardboard to reach a water pool and to extract the liquid with a pump. “We managed to create a functional, efficient and inexpensive solution”, states Mr Niemelä.

Finally, the competitors were given some reused materials and asked to built an adult-sized vehicle that can carry a passenger along a 50 meter track. "We invented ‘skiboard’, a very cost-efficient device that could be moved with two poles”, says Mr Kurki.

The dynamic team with clear tactics

The team‘s success factors included seamless teamwork, strict budget management and very entertaining presentations. ”The creative planning was done together, but we also had our own specific roles. I produced the demanded CAD drawings, Niko kept the budgets in balance, Kim was our ‘public relations specialist’ and another Niko made great efforts in building the machines”, praises Ms Salo.

“Maybe it‘s typical for Finns that we tried to keep the design of the devices very simple and focused more on the functionality. Many competitors had too ambitious visions, but they ended up building a machine that didn‘t work properly”, concludes Mr Niemelä.

Greetings to ATA Gears

The whole team sends warm regards and thanks to ATA Gears for making the competition tour possible. ”Their support was essential for the arrangements of the local round and also for our travel costs to Sweden and Portugal. Our ATA Gears caps and T-shirts also helped us to create a genuine team spirit", says Ms Salo with a wide grin.

"This adventure was very rewarding. We gained valuable experience on how to work, communicate and present our ideas in international environment. It also inspired to consider the possibilities of working in Europe in the future”, summons Mr Kurki.

All team members are already on the homestretch of their engineering studies. So attention, recruiters: there will soon be some interesting talents available in the labour market!

 

 

Vesa Palomäki is on an all-time high

vesa-palomakiVesa Palomäki gave himself a special 50th birthday present last year. He travelled to Tanzania in Africa and fulfilled his life-long ambition of conquering Mount Kilimanjaro.

In the last issue of ATA customer magazine, we read about Vesa Palomäki – machinist from ATA Gears' Hautala Hall factory who had beaten cancer and trekked up the 5,400-m-high Annapurna mountain in Nepal.

We learned that, as part of his 50th birthday celebrations, he was planning to conquer Mount Kilimanjaro. In August, last year, Mr Palomäki fulfilled that dream.

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