Recognizing the Winners of Student Competitions


Two student competions took place at the ASME 2019 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE 2019) in Salt Lake City, Utah: the final round of the Student Design Competition (SDC) and the Old Guard 63rd Annual Oral Competition Finals.

Fourteen student teams, each a competitor at the regional SDC events held at E-Fests during the spring and summer, took part in the SDC Championships on November 9. “The Pick-and-Place Race” challenged students to design and construct remote-controlled robots that could quickly collect a variety of balls—ranging in size from ping pong balls to basketballs—from their stands and place them in a collection area without the balls hitting the ground.

At the end of the exciting daylong tournament, the team from the University of Florida emerged as the big winner for the second year in a row.

“I think, we had the right mindset when we designed our robot, prioritizing speed versus being able to collect [the balls] as accurately as possible,” said the team’s driver, Andres Taquechel. “And I think it showed, which was very rewarding.”

The team from North Carolina State University placed second. The third-place trophy went to the team from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Parth Maheshwari, a senior from Hong Kong Polytechnic University, was pleased with his team’s performance at the finals. "We’ve flown so far [to be here]," he said. "It was really important to do our best so that we can go back with no regrets. We did our best, and we got second runner-up, so we’re happy with that.”

The experience was inspiring for all teams.Even though his team didn’t make it to the last round of the finals, Aaron McCullough, the driver for the team from Eastern Washington University, enjoyed the competition and said he considered such events as essential to an engineering student’s education. “I think projects for [engineering students] are the most important part of your class experience,” he said. “If you do the classes, you learn the information. When you do the projects, you learn to be an engineer.”

Five ASME student members received prizes at another major student competition held at this year’s IMECE: The Old Guard Annual Oral Competition Finals. The competition emphasizes the ability to deliver clear, concise, and effective presentations, particularly pertaining to some sphere in which an engineer is or should be involved. Ten students, who either placed first or second at one of the regional Old Guard Competitions at the E-Fests, competed during the finals.

Shmuel (Sam) Shollar of the University at Buffalo was named the winner for his presentation, “ShapeShifter: A Multi-Agent System for Planetary Exploration.”

Roldolfo Bailón from Instituto Tecnológico de Ciudad Juárez in Mexico was second with his presentation, “Exegetic Analysis of a PV System.”

The third prize at the competition went to Sebastian Pinto from Universidad San Francisco de Quito in Ecuador for his presentation, “Ergonomic Design of a Human-Powered Competition Vehicle.”

Daniel Chung, a student at the United States Military Academy, took fourth place with his presentation, “3D Velocity Field Measurements In Rugged Terrain—Ancho Canyon.”

Daniel Mori of Pontificia Universidad Catolica del Peru was recognized with a special Innovation Recognition award for his presentation, titled “Spider Robot for Anti-Personnel Landmine Detection.”

Learn more about student competitions.

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