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Capstone Symposium 10am-2pm, Tuesday June 10

Holiday Inn, 3020 Blanshard Street, Victoria

June 4, 2008

A car that drives itself, a solar panel that tracks the sun, and new software to make BC Assessment error-free—these are three of the student projects that will be on display at the annual Capstone Symposium scheduled for June 10, 2008.

The Capstone Symposium will showcase the final projects created by students in Camosun’s Computer Systems Technology and Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology programs. It’s also an opportunity for high-tech companies to scout out potential employees from among top students who are about to graduate.

“Our students graduate with very marketable skills,” explains Alan Duncan, program chair for the Electronics and Computer Engineering Department. “When your grad portfolio includes an awesome project like a fully autonomous vehicle, finding a job is not the problem, it’s which job offer to accept.”

The autonomous vehicle has been nicknamed the “Interurbanator,” a small car that drives by itself, makes its own decisions, and learns as it goes. Designed and built by a team of five students, the vehicle just needs to be programmed with latitude and longitude coordinates and then uses infrared, GPS, a digital compass and webcam laser imaging to find its way to the target destination.

“We’re very excited about the Interurbanator’s potential for real-world applications,” explains Paul Green, one of the electronics students working on the project. “Expanding on the technology and concepts we’ve used, military reconnaissance can avoid putting troops in unnecessary combat situations, industrial hazards can be accessed without endangering personnel, and domestically, the versatile design can be adapted to perform routine tasks like lawn mowing and snow clearing.”

Another team of electronics students is working on a solar panel equipped with new technology for tracking the sun. “Solar Trak” uses GPS and compass coordinates to compute the exact position of the sun, without relying on optical sensors.

The other three projects in the showcase are being developed by student teams from the Computer Systems Technology program. Each team is working with a client from the local community, designing and implementing a software solution in response to the client’s specific need.

“This real-life connection with community is extremely valuable for the students,” says Saryta Schaerer, Capstone faculty leader in Camosun’s computer science department. “They have to learn about the client’s business and thoroughly understand the problem so they can create the appropriate software solution. The experience hones their communication skills as well as their technical skills.”

The computing projects include:

  • a quality control system for BC Assessment. The new software application will identify any errors and inconsistencies in the annual assessment reports, before they are mailed out to more than 1.8 million property owners in BC.
  • an application for local software company, Lacerte Development, to be used in the development of an address book synchronizer called The students’ focus is on extending the functionality to include BlackBerry and Google.
  • a web-based solution for Royal Roads University’s Centre for Teaching and Educational Technologies that will replace the current spreadsheet work schedule and allow users to view, enter and edit course information.

Two keynote speakers will address the audience of students, teachers and local high-tech employers.

  • At 10:30am, Rob Bennett will talk about Confidence, Customers and Computers. Bennett is President and Chief Operating Officer of Simation Global Technology Ltd, and is responsible for the strategic development and growth of the company. Bennett also serves as chair of VIATeC and is a director on the board of the BC Cancer Foundation.
  • At 12:45pm, Brian Garduno will share his expertise about future trends in LED technology. Garduno is the BC manager for DVT Group, an international company that creates promotional signage using energy-efficient LED lighting panels.

The public is welcome to attend the Capstone presentations and there is no charge for admission. Camosun College thanks Presenting Sponsor OA Solutions for supporting this event. More details can be found at

Last updated: December 21, 2009 1:11 pm

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