CALGARY -- Mechanical engineering students at the University of Calgary have developed an automatic spare tire hoist as their year-long assignment comes to a close.

As a final graduation project after four years of study, students were asked to find solutions to industry challenges or to create their own invention, known as a capstone design project.

The unlikely impetus for their final project arrived through bad driving luck.

The inspiration for the idea came from one of the students who had a flat tire.

“One of our team members didn’t know how to lower the spare tire and that inspired the design,” said mechanical engineering student Luke Vincent.


Projects are created from concept to design to fabrication, then finally presented at the annual Capstone Design Fair.

This year, most projects were presented without working prototypes as COVID-19 protocols prevented building inventions.

“Construction resources were not available to us so we weren’t able to prototype the design,” said Vincent. “We spent most of our time creating the most realistic model that we could ensuring the design could be the best.”

There was a six member team working on the project and there have been some challenges along the way, “We have gotten some constructive criticism and some ideas as to how to improve the design,” said Vincent.

There are more than 100 projects on display during the annual Capstone Design Fair.