ASME Holds Student Design Competition World Finals
Tom Spendlove posted on November 14, 2018 |
Teams from six countries competed at IMECE for the Student Design Competition World Finals

Students from sixteen colleges and universities, representing six different countries, competed in the world finals of the American Society of Mechanical Engineer (ASME)’s Student Design Competition last weekend at the David L Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh. The competition was part of ASME’s International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) and featured teams who previously competed at the E-Fest events held at Penn State University,  Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, and California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.

The 2018 competition was a little different than previous year’s tasks of solving real-world problems through engineering and instead encouraged students to build a robotic soccer team. Four teams played on a field at once, and each team had a goal and two corresponding tennis balls. Scoring a ball in the goal with the same color was worth max points, scoring a ball in a different colored goal was less points, and teams lost a point if balls were scored against their goal. Each team at the finals played three rounds of two halves each in the qualifying sessions, the halves lasting either until all balls were scored or five minutes. Two semifinal matches were run, and then one match in the finals to determine the winner. The finals consisted of teams from the University of Florida, University of Nevada Las Vegas, Baker College of Flint, and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. After the finals, the University of Florida repeated their performance from E-Fest East in April and emerged as the champions.

ASME has run Student Design Competitions for several years, and one of the benefits to bringing students to an event like this is seeing the wide array of machines that are built to meet the same design requirements. Networking with students from all over the world and professionals attending the conference was also a nice bonus. The 2019 Student Design Competition is already posted and now that my students are home they plan to start the design phase for 2019 alongside preparation for final exams over the next month. Competitions take place in Vellore India, Pomona California, Lima Peru and a delightfully short drive for me in Lansing Michigan.

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