Electromechanical Engineering Technology grads Bogdan Malynovskyy and Mateusz Cwalinski will be representing Team Canada and Hum

Electromechanical Engineering Technology grads Bogdan Malynovskyy and Mateusz Cwalinski will be representing Team Canada and Humber at the 45th WorldSkills Competition in Kazan, Russia later this month.

Following the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton where Malynovskyy and Cwalinski took home a gold medal in Mechatronics, the two highest ranking teams in the competition were identified in their skilled areas and were selected to participate in the next stage of the WorldSkills Team Canada Selection Process.

In order to represent Team Canada at this year’s WorldSkills, Humber and the second-place team from 2018 competed in Halifax last month during a Team Canada Selection Event and were required to assemble a full production system. They successfully defended their titles as part of the national competition to secure their spots in Russia.

“The level of difficulty of the tasks at the selection event were at a World’s level. The competition included complex components that were required to be packaged differently and we had two days to complete the task,” says Malynovskyy.

This year, WorldSkills will welcome more than 1,300 competitors from over 70 countries and regions who will compete in more than 50 skilled areas. The four-day WorldSkills Competition is the largest of its kind in the world and is considered the pinnacle of excellence in skilled trades and technologies training.

Looking forward to WorldSkills, Malynovskyy and Cwalinski are training six days a week alongside this year’s Mechatronics gold medalists Marko Gunja and Hartej Tapia who are preparing for their turn at continuing Humber’s legacy in representing Team Canada at the next WorldSkills competition in 2021. “The adrenaline and the event itself are the most exciting part about this experience. You get to meet people who are motivated and want to prove they’re the best,” says Cwalinski.

Determined to take home gold at WorldSkills, Humber’s team is trained by Neal Mohammed, director of the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation and former WorldSkills Mechatronics gold winner Maurício Toigo who represented Brazil in 2013.

After a successful win, Toigo later continued his studies and recently graduated from the Electromechanical Engineering Technology program. While studying at Humber, Toigo also trained Humber’s WorldSkills bronze medalists Avery Bird and Theo Willert in 2017.

“I don’t know what’s more difficult, being a competitor or a coach. Watching from outside is also difficult because you see how your team is doing along with the competitors,” says Toigo. “Both are really rewarding and when Avery and Theo won bronze, I was happier than when I won gold.”

Malynovskyy and Cwalinski are now training on time management, Industry 4.0, efficiency, and data sorting to prepare for up to 21 hours of competition, which will require building a system that does not require human intervention to produce or assemble a product.

Humber is able to help students transform their learning by converging industry, community and education to find innovative solutions to real world problems. From researching technology to finding new ways to advance their skills, the team is supported by Humber’s industry partners KUKA Robotics Canada Ltd. and Festo Didactic Inc., who have provided the team with sponsorships, new systems and components, and financial support.

“In addition to training to bring home medals, we are addressing the skills gap all industries are facing,” says Mohammed. “Competing and winning medals at the international level also shows the world that Canada has the talent to do the job,” he adds.

Humber students began training in skills competitions in 2004 and have won 26 gold, 12 silver and three bronze medals to date. Humber has also won gold at the WorldSkills Americas (2012) and a gold medal for Best of Nation at WorldSkills (2017).

By meeting new teams, industry leaders and younger generations, Humber hopes competitions like WorldSkills will help to close skills gaps as students work alongside competitors and industries to advance skilled trades on a global scale.

“I use the experience I had in the competition and what my experts taught me to help our team grow. It is important to spread knowledge and there are winning competitors all over the world helping other countries advance their skills. I want to see Team Canada take home a medal and I also want to see the world advance together,” says Toigo.

Looking forward to the competition, Malynovskyy and Cwalinski say this journey could not be possible without Humber.

“Everyone we will meet is an expert in their craft. It will be great to meet people in different skilled trades,” says Malynovskyy. “We are thankful to our mentors, trainers and Humber for helping us reach this level.”