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Alberta Energy Challenge 2016

Posted on: Sep 28, 2016

For the first time, Concordia University of Edmonton (CUE) entered a team to compete in the 7th Annual Alberta Energy Challenge consisting of the following four undergraduate students:  Melissa Martindale (Management), Brandon Doan (Management), Kathleen Navis (Science), Thabiso Hlatshwayo (Science) and coached by Dr. Alison Yacyshyn (Chair, Management).  The competition took place in Edmonton, hosted by the Alberta School of Business at the University of Alberta, from Wednesday, September 22nd until Sunday, September 25th.

Eight teams from the University of Southern Indiana, the University of Vermont, University of Oklahoma, University of Alberta (team A undergrads and team B MBA’s), University of Saskatchewan, University of Calgary (Masters), and last but not least Concordia University of Edmontonton competed in the challenge.

Organizers introduced the teams to the Energy Industry in Alberta with resourceful speakers and also took the teams on impressive tours.  The facility tours included going to Packers Plus in Edmonton and with the use of Cenovus’ private jet, a one-day trip to and from Edmonton to tour Cenovus’ Christina Lake Facility, just South of Fort McMurray.

The case study involved team’s using knowledge of the oil sands industry and Cenovus’ current asset structure, to advise Cenovus on the ideal structure of its innovation and alternate energy portfolio.  Based on the business and chemistry expertise of the team, the team suggested that “Solvents were the solution!”  The four CUE students worked well together as a team.  This was due in part to the students utilizing their knowledgeable coach’s skills and expertise in preparation meetings prior to the competition and provided valuable inspiration during the gruelling competition.  A compelling presentation was given by the Concordia students to two judges.  Without doubt, the students were well prepared to answer every question that was asked of them and handled themselves masterfully.

Judges evaluated teams in three rooms and one team from each room advanced.  Unfortunately, the CUE team did not advance, however, it was heard that the judges had a difficult time in deciding who would advance, the competition was close.  To think our students were competing head-to-head with master’s level students demonstrated the strength of our students working together and were successful participants in this intense case competition that did CUE proud!