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No limits

Bright future for engineering graduate and entrepreneur

special feature: Student success

Part of a special feature celebrating the success of Memorial's graduates. This feature coincides with spring convocation 2017.

By Jackey Locke

Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science prides itself on the high-calibre of its students and graduates.

The program is rigorous. Students must successfully complete at least four work terms and eight academic study terms to graduate, and the opportunities to work on extracurricular activities with fellow students are numerous.

And while the program is intense, it is the intensity that creates huge opportunities for students to shine — students like spring graduate Adam Keating.

Mr. Keating will receive his bachelor of engineering degree in mechanical engineering on June 1.

Standout student

As an undergraduate student, the Mount Pearl native has made the Dean’s List every year, earned numerous scholarships and led several team projects that have created two business initiatives for him after graduation.

He is also the recipient of the 2017 Chancellor’s Undergraduate Award, the Governor General’s Medal (Undergraduate), the Dean’s Honour Award in Engineering, The Fry Family Foundation Undergraduate Leadership Award and the Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Newfoundland and Labrador Award for Excellence.

“It is also important to not limit yourself.” — Adam Keating

While he admits juggling studies and extracurricular activities can be challenging, Mr. Keating encourages all students to get involved as much as they can.

“For people who want to do something other than the normal, getting involved in all aspects of school can give them an advantage,” he said.

“Connections made when working on team projects can give you an edge when securing work terms. It is also important to not limit yourself. The more involved you get, the more technical experience you get and that is something you can’t get in the classroom.”

Scholarly and business savvy

One of Mr. Keating’s business initiatives is CoLab, which he co-founded with his fellow engineering student, Jeremy Andrews.

CoLab is a software development company that is creating the future of mechanical design through its collaborative computer-assisted drawing program. Recently, CoLab was one of the big winners at a campus-wide entrepreneurial competition event, the Startup Cup.

Mr. Keating and Mr. Andrews have deferred job offers from companies in the Silicon Valley to pursue CoLab, and are working hard to accelerate the growth of the company.

Another business venture is Paradigm, formerly called OpenLoop. Mr. Keating was project lead and mechanical design lead for the OpenLoop team that designed a high-speed, air-levitating ground transport vehicle.

A rendering of the high-speed, air-levitating ground transport vehicle.
A rendering of the high-speed, air-levitating ground transport vehicle.
Photo: Submitted

OpenLoop was one of 125 teams selected from 1,200 teams to showcase its pod design at the first SpaceX Hyperloop Design Competition. The team placed in the top 10 in final testing.

Paradigm, of which Mr. Keating is project lead, is currently one of the remaining 23 finalists to compete in the second SpaceX Hyperloop Competition this August in California.

Mr. Keating also co-founded DuXion Motors with another mechanical engineering student, Trevor Forward.

DuXion Motors was founded to develop propulsion systems for the future of electric airplanes. DuXion won first place in Memorial’s Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering Design Competition against 15 other teams.

From left, Dr. Yuri Muzychka and the DuXion team Trevor Forward, Adam Keating, Adam Parsons and Justin Wheeler.
From left, Dr. Yuri Muzychka and the DuXion team Trevor Forward, Adam Keating, Adam Parsons and Justin Wheeler.
Photo: Canadian Society for Mechanical Engineering

In his final year, Mr. Keating received the 2016 Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (CAFCE) honourable mention award, which recognizes outstanding co-op students across Canada. The award means he placed second in Canada among many thousands of co-op students.

Mr. Keating also served on the faculty’s Engineering Society as vice-president academic and has devoted his time to organizing initiatives close to his heart, such as the Keith Keating Memorial Tournament, in memory of his dad, Keith Keating, for the past four years and the Keith Keating Terry Fox Run for the past five years.

“When my dad passed away I was determined to make a difference,” Mr. Keating said.

“Today, the Keith Keating Memorial Tournament is the largest basketball tournament in the province and has raised more than $70,000 for cancer care. The Association of Fundraising Professionals Newfoundland and Labrador named it the Top Special Event for 2015. Similarly, the Keith Keating Terry Fox run team was the largest in the province for several years and has raised over $35,000.”

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