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Ice Runner - Students build new winter sporting vehicle

February 16, 2015
By Laurence Miall

Montreal is frozen over several months of the year. It's a great city for winter sports.  Concordia engineering students have been working to develop a new catamaran-style vehicle that can travel over ice and snow.


Xavier-Henri Hervé, a graduate of Concordia University and a serial entrepreneur who is credited for innovation in leading sectors like aviation, presented students with a special challenge in 2013. He wanted them to build a catamaran-style vehicle capable of traveling on snow and ice.

The ice runner, as it became known, was born. It's an example of what is called a Capstone project, a requirement for all Concordia engineering students in the final year of their studies, designed to test their skills and knowledge. Projects vary enormously. Some are in the area of biomedical engineering, some deal with buildings, some involve the manufacture of specialized robots, and then there's this one: something else entirely. Able to briefly attain speeds of 25 km/hour when the wind is up, the ice runner crosses frozen lakes or glides over snowy shorelines. The driver can steer by manipulating the ice runner's skis or alternately snowboards -- both can be fitted on depending on prevailing conditions.

The current year's team was assembled last fall to refine the initial design, improve upon it, and build a new and better prototype. It will be evaluated by professors later in March.

The photos at top are from this year, and those below are from the 2014 incarnation of the project.


There have been multiple Capstone teams that have worked on the ice runner as successive prototypes are designed and built to improve on the concept. It has chiefly been worked on in the EDML laboratory in the Hall Building under the watchful eye of engineer-in-residence, Dominic Ng.


Renzo Montanez, Hai Zhang, Matthew Kennedy, Stephen Ross, Victoria Poon, Peter Wahib, Osama Malik, Mark Cohen, Phillip Michaelsen, Marco Robertson, Michael Salvatore Ventura, Nirros Ponnudurai, Gnanagan Sarvanantharajah


Francis Amankrah, Patrick Balazinski, Norris Chan, Ertan Eren, Gabriel Perreault, Jean Thomas Kouro, Kelly Wong


Marc-André Gratton, David Yuen Tung, Nelson Bi, Eugene To, Christophe Tannous, Hameed Akkache, Mike Ciccone, Sami Chidiac, Mazen El Khoury, Sepehyr Ghavam, Ruth Anne Shooflar

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