Canadian Humanitarian Initiatives Committee

collaborative technology addressing humanitarian needs


Rural Wireless Data Connectivity competition, 2011-2012

We have decided to postpone the Humanitarian Student Design competition by one year. The result from our first competition were significant, having gotten a grasp on how to create Intellectual Property for IEEE humanitarian projects. These competitions are open to undergraduate and graduate students enrolled in college or university.

Details for competition as it was planned for 2012

Basic knowledge in Electronics is desirable and recommended but not required to participate, but knowledge of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) or teleservices will be an asset. Teams from universities not in Canada are welcome to participate, but the organizing committee does not guarantee international teams the same level of support as Canadian teams. Also, it is unlikely that any travel grants to travel from abroad will be available.

The spirit of this competition is to provide a venue for students to gain practical experience in improving or innovating on an existing design under some of the constrains and conditions they will face in industry. An abstract of the winner’s work will be published in the IEEE Canadian Review magazine. Prizes will be awarded as follows: first prize, CND $1000; second prize, CND $700; third prize, CND $300.

Theme of Competition

For this year’s competition, we have decided to focus on improving or innovating on parts of a wireless communication system for humanitarian applications. We are planning to make available a high-speed WiFi link between the University of Ottawa and Algonquin College as a test-bed.

Students interested in participating in a more general humanitarian topic are encouraged to participate in IEEE Presidents’ Change the World Competition, the HIC will assist students participating on that competition.

The competition will span the Fall’11 and Winter’12 semesters. Teams will be invited to CCECE and ICC2012 to present their projects and to select the winners.

Each team must have a mentor from the institution they are enrolled in, and in some cases they may chose a mentor from industry. For a team to be eligible for the competition, the team must be led by an IEEE student member who is in good standing at the time of final project submission. Teams may include students who are not IEEE members and we encourage teams to include students that are enrolled in different disciplines. The students are responsible for all of the R&D activities and the creation of the working model or prototype. Design projects will be judged on their innovation, quality of final report, completeness, practicality and complexity; the most important factors being innovation and practicality. Teams with graduate students will have their score handicapped to make it fair for undergrad student.

All projects from participants shall follow an Open Source approach, and design are expected to become part of the Open Source platform in this competition.

Where can I find out more?

You can join our virtual community to read reference documents and to share ideas and opinions; or visit the Frequently Asked Questions webpage for more details. The competition’s timeline will be confirmed by the end of August, but it should be as follows:

Proposal submission deadline (PDF, MS-Word): Oct. 7, 2011
Acceptance notification: Oct. 14, 2011
Detailed progress report submission (*): Dec. 9, 2011
(*) New project proposals may be accepted at this point upon review of recommendation by team’s mentor. Report required by deadline.
Semi-finalist selection announcement: Dec. 16, 2011
Final detailed report submission: March 23, 2012
Finalist selection announcement (additional information may be requested at this point): March 30, 2012
Winners announcement: May 2, 2012 at CCECE

How do I start?

Submit you project proposal, by email to :
Or email:

chair, webmaster.

Note: Submissions must follow the competition templates and must be submitted in PDF format only.

How can I financially support this competition?

The IEEE Canadian Foundation will be accepting cash donations for the competition. There are three ways to donate:

  • On-line by using a secure website specially operated to enable online giving for Canadian charitable organizations
  • By mail by sending a cheque directly to the treasurer, Luc Matteau, at:
    IEEE Canadian Foundation,
    456 Rogers Street,
    Peterborough, Ontario
    K9H 1W9
  • By phone by speaking with the treasurer, Luc Matteau, at 705-743-7712.

Please direct your gift to the “Technology for Humanity Fund”.

Creative Commons Licence
IEEE Canada Student Humanitarian Design Competition by HIC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0.