Tag Archives: design contest

Utah State Team Sweeps iGEM Competion

Utah State iGEMThe name suggests a cleaning crew, not a team of Utah State University biological engineering undergraduates whose “Stain Busters” project just took top honors at the annual iGEM synthetic biology competition.

It was the sixth straight gold medal Utah State teams had won at the International Genetically Engineered Machine challenge, the university’s news service reports.  Launched by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the competition promotes synthetic biology research through the construction of genetically engineered systems from standard building blocks called BioBricks.

This year’s champion team engineered E. coli bacteria to create enzymes that boosted the ability of laundry detergent to remove grass and other tough stains, reducing the amount needed to wash clothes.

Photo: (from left to right) Cody Maxwell, Sara Gertsch, Ryan Putman, Dallin Christensen, Dr. Asif Rhaman, the team’s graduate adviser.


University of Toronto Engineering Team Wins Sikorsky Human-Power Helicopter Contest

The $250,000 prize offered by the Igor I. Sikorsky Human Powered Helicopter Competition has gone unclaimed for 33 years — until now.

A team of University of Toronto alumni, students and volunteers flying their own creation, a human-powered helicopter named Atlas, recently met the contest’s requirements to be able to fly the copter at least 9.8 feet above the ground and remain airborne for longer than one minute.

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Microsoft’s Imagine Cup Finals Kick Off in Russia

From July 9-11, St. Petersburg, Russia was home to Microsoft’s 11th annual Imagine Cup world finals. Over 300 students from 71 countries participated this year for the $50,000 first-place award in one of three categories: games, innovation, and world citizenship. And because it’s Microsoft, additional awards went to projects that also utilized Windows 8, Windows Phone, or Azure.

Microsoft changed its categories slightly from last year’s competition, according to TechCrunch. While many successful projects have gone on to improve education, healthcare and other social issues, they often started out as small apps with a narrow focus. The new three categories captured a wider range of applicants this year and focused more strongly on building students’ entrepreneurial sides, with hopes that the winning projects will someday influence society.

U.Va. Students Design Solar-Powered Wheelchair

A team of engineering students at the University of Virginia has adapted solar panels to power a wheelchair that can be used for people with ailments such as cerebral palsy. The team from the School of Engineering and Applied Science won first place in the 2012 World Cerebral Palsy Day competition for the solar-powered wheelchair with  retractable panels.

Design News reports: “The solar-powered wheelchair designed by students in UVA’s School of Engineering and Applied Science won first place and a prize of $20,000 in a contest called “Change My World in One Minute” held in conjunction with last year’s World Cerebral Palsy Day in September. The prize was announced in late April. The suggestion to build a solar-powered wheelchair came from Alper Sirvan, a Turkish resident who submitted the idea for the contest.”

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Cal Poly Team Wins Vehicle Safety Contest

Mechanical engineering students from Cal Poly took first place for their collision-avoidance technology at the Enhanced Safety of Vehicles (ESV) International Collegiate Student Safety Technology Design Competition held in Seoul, Korea.

According to a university press release, Ian Painter and Elliot Carlson, both seniors, and Thomas Stevens, a graduate student, developed a tenth-scale vehicle prototype that uses a light detection and ranging (LIDAR) sensor to aid a driver in last-minute maneuvers around a crash obstacle.

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