Old Guard Competitions

Global, February 01 – November 14, 2019

Old Guard Oral Presentation Competition

Select your local event to learn more about E-Fests Competitions

Old Guard Oral Presentation Competition

Like all professionals, engineers must possess a well-developed ability to synthesize issues and communicate effectively to diverse audiences. Among the highlights of the ASME E-Fest (Engineering Festival) is the Old Guard Oral Presentation Competition. This competition is designed to emphasize the value of an ability to deliver clear, concise and effective oral presentations, particularly pertaining to some sphere in which an engineer is or should be involved. The Old Guard Committee offers significant prize money to competition winners.

Each student presentation lasts fifteen minutes and is followed by a five minute “Question and Answer” (Q&A) period. First Place finalists from each E-Fest event are invited to compete at the Society level competition at the International Mechanical Engineering Congress & Exposition (IMECE) held during November.

Note: While these rules primarily address the ASME E-Fest, they may be utilized by any ASME group (Section, Student Section, Division, or EFx host) wishing to conduct an oral competition. Although the Old Guard will not provide prize monies nor invitations to IMECE for winners at these events, appropriate reference to the ASME Old Guard will be appreciated.

Information for Student Entries

ADVANCE Registration is required in order to guarantee a presentation slot during the E-Fest sessions. On-site registrations will be handled at the discretion of the host and Old Guard committee on “as-available” basis. Due to timing constraints and facility planning, advanced registration is highly encouraged.

Eligibility and Requirements

To be eligible to participate at an E-Fest Competition, each contestant must be a Student Member who:

  1. has not yet received an engineering degree* and,
  2. has been selected by his/her Student Section or ME Department to participate; and,
  3. is a Student Member in good standing.

* Student Members who complete the requirements for their baccalaureate engineering degree, or who actually receive that degree at the end of a term, semester, or quarter a short time before a scheduled conference may still participate. These Student Members, however, must not have completed their degree requirements before December 1 of the calendar year prior to the Conference.

The Presentation

Each student presentation lasts fifteen minutes and is followed by a five minute “Question and Answer” (Q&A) period. Significant prize money is offered at each E-Fest and at the IMECE final competition as detailed in Sections D and E.

Each presentation in the Oral Presentation Competition must be delivered in English. The subject matter of each presentation must address a technical, economic or environmental aspect of engineering or other basic engineering theme, provided it pertains to some sphere in which an engineer is or should be involved. A major portion of a contestant’s total score is based on the judges’ evaluation of his/her relative capability to communicate orally, including evidence of a talent to respond effectively during the Q&A period.

A competitor may utilize any available resource but must realize that the presentation is to be an individual effort. Assistance in the use of visual aids is advisable (PowerPoint, models, etc.). Film clips, if used, may not exceed one-minute total duration (i.e. a maximum of one minute of each student presentation may be used for video). Film clips may not be accompanied by any recorded sound, although explanations may be provided by the presenter as the video is being played. Good practice and courtesy suggest credit be given during the presentation for any outside help related to the reported project. A written paper or manuscript is not required.

Students planning to compete are encouraged to review the JUDGING instructions detailed below in Information for E-Fest Hosts and Judges.

Competition Entry

ADVANCE Registration is required in order to guarantee a presentation slot during the E-Fest sessions. On-site registrations will be handled at the discretion of the Old Guard committee on “as-available&ldquo basis. Due to timing constraints and facility planning, advanced registration is highly encouraged.

The Old Guard Oral Presentation Competitions are held at the ASME Student E-Fest Conferences. Student who wish to compete must:

  1. Visit the E-Fest website locations
  2. Choose the location of the conference he/she plans to attend.
  3. Complete the appropriate registration form for that location.
  4. At least two (2) weeks before the date of the E-Fest, complete the Old Guard Oral Competition entry form and declare their presentation title.

Note: No more than 2 participants from a college/university can register to participate in the competition at any E-Fest venue.

Late entries are permitted on a local space available basis at the discretion of the E-Fest host.

Students entering the Old Guard Oral Competition may not also enter the Old Guard Technical Poster Competition.

Conduct of the Contest

Each presentation in the Old Guard Competition shall be made by one contestant. Any questions regarding procedure shall be resolved by the E-Fest host Student Section Advisor and ASME staff or the Old Guard Committee before the Conference. The Chair of the Host Student Section usually presides during the contest and ensures that there is adherence to the time schedule given in the printed program. The Presentation duration is fifteen (15) minutes plus five (5) minutes for Q&A immediately thereafter. Any time remaining or exceeding the fifteen minutes must be added to or subtracted from the five-minute Q&A discussion. A five-minute transition time between presentations is recommended.

No photographs may be taken during the presentation; photographs may be taken during the question and answer period.

Questions may be asked by any attendee of the competition except those from the competitor’s own educational institution. Each person posing a question to a speaker must stand, identify himself/herself and school, and then proceed with the question. At the end of twelve minutes, the timekeeper will signal to the speaker that there are three minutes remaining.

  • At the end of fourteen minutes, the timekeeper will signal to the speaker that there is one-minute remaining.
  • At the end of fifteen minutes, timekeeper will signal for the speaker to conclude the presentation.
  • The timekeeper will signal at the end of five minutes to terminate the discussion period. The speaker should promptly complete response to the current question and close their presentation.


To what extent is the subject of interest to a technical audience? Is credit given for source of material or contribution by others? How much knowledge of subject was exhibited? Is work independent and original? Is the subject technical or general in nature?


Is there any novel approach to the subject? Is there sufficient background information provided in order to introduce the audience to the subject? Are the facts developed in logical and continuous sequence? Is there a definite conclusion, and was it adequately based on the facts or data presented?

Delivery and Effectiveness

Are the words distinctly pronounced with a speed appropriate for the cultural makeup of the audience and judges and was proper volume used to be heard by all? Is proper English used, and is the vocabulary sufficient? Is personal appearance appropriate? Are there any distracting mannerisms? Is the manner of delivery (conversation, memorized, read from manuscript) satisfactory? If visual aids are used, how effectively are they used? Is the presentation within the time limit of 15 minutes allowed?

Is the presentation evoking spontaneous questions from the audience? Are the questions indicating the need for clarification of facts presented, or were they merely of the type seeking additional information? How readily and with what self-assurance did the speaker answer the questions? Are the answers indicating knowledge of the subject beyond that disclosed in the original presentation? Is the ability to think clearly demonstrated?

Information for E-Fest Hosts and Judges

Facility Requirements

The host shall provide one or two rooms for conduct of the competition dependent on the number of Oral Competition entries registered. When sufficient presentation entries are estimated, host planners need to consider running up to TWO concurrent presentation sessions to assure that all entries can be scheduled. For up to 12 presentations total, a single competition session should be planned. Beyond 13 entries, two concurrent presentation sessions should be planned with entries split equal between tracks.

A maximum of 24 total Oral Presentations are allowed per E-Fest Venue. The host registration team shall close additional entries after reaching this limit.

Presentation Rooms

A work table shall be provided on one side of the room for the judging panel and timekeeper positioned to be able to clearly view the speaker, podium and projector screen.

Judging and Scoring Criteria

Each competition session is to be judged by the same Judging Team throughout, preferably three judges, but a minimum of two ASME members of mature judgment, who are selected along with one or two alternates. Local ASME Senior Sections should be requested to cooperate in the search for judges. Each E-Fest host shall select the judging team and timekeeper.

The Presentations will be judged in four categories; Content, Organization, Delivery and Effectiveness, and Discussion. See hotlink below for the Judging Sheet to be used.

Judges are to use the Scoring Sheet provided: (Download Judging Sheet) as the basis for judging all the E-Fest Conferences. The Scoring Sheet has been developed for the convenience of the judges in evaluating the presentation in competition. Scoring Sheet samples should be sent to the judges for familiarity ahead of the contest. Completed Scoring Sheets are not to be given to the presenters. Judges should be informed that they must agree to serve through the entire contest, be it one or two days.

Judges are encouraged to fill out the Feedback Sheet: (Download Feedback Sheet) on each student’s presentation and give them to the contestants at the conclusion of the presentations. The Feedback Sheet has been developed for the convenience of the judge to assist him/her in this process.

Sufficient copies of the judging worksheets and feedback sheets shall be provided by the host at the beginning of each presentation session.

Highly recommended is a private judges briefing prior to the first presentation to assure that the team will score the presentations equally.

Prize Money available at E-Fest Venues

Judges at each conference are to select First, Second, Third and Fourth Place winners for each presentation session based on the criteria specified in the competition score sheet. An additional award is available for "Best Technical Content." This prize may be given to one of the top four winners or any other presenter at a conference.

Student Conference (E-Fest) Awards – Applicable for 2019

First $750.00 plus travel support to compete in the final competition at ASME’s IMECE
Second $400.00
Third $200.00
Fourth $100.00 Only when at there are at least eight contestants in a session.
Technical $100.00

Prize Money available at IMECE the Final Competition

2019 IMECE (International Mechanical Engineering Conference & Exposition)

The FIRST place winner from each E-Fest Venue competition session are will be invited to participate in the IMECE finals of the Old Guard Oral Presentation Competition. The SECOND-place winners MAY be invited on a space available basis determined later by the Old Guard Committee.

Finals take place at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) in November. With the exception of the timekeeper's actions, the rules for the IMECE competition finals are the same as for the competition at the E-Fest.

Presentation Requirements

No substantial changes from the presentation given at the E-Fest Conference may be made for the finals at IMECE. Any substantial change of title or major revision of the presentation given at the E-Fest will result in disqualification and may result in loss of travel reimbursement.


The final competition at IMECE is judged by a panel of three volunteers from within the ASME community, based on the same scoring worksheet criteria as the E-Fest events. The winners are also recognized at Society events and featured in various ASME publications and web sites.

Competition Finals at ASME IMECE in November 2019

Society Awards (Finals at IMECE)

First $2,000.00
Second $1,500.00
Third $1,000.00
Fourth $500.00 Only when at there are at least eight contestants.
Innovation $250.00

Travel support from the Old Guard

Travel expenses for attending the final competition will be covered using standard ASME travel reimbursement rules covered by Society Policy P-4.5. A copy of the travel reimbursement expense form may be downloaded from the ASME web site. Reimbursements are limited to a maximum of $1000.00 for winners from any E-Fest held in North America (Canada, Mexico, or United States) and limited to a maximum of $1500.00 (US$) for winners from any E-Fest held outside of North America. The winner is responsible for any expenses above these maximum amounts.