Students Hone Their Presentation Skills at the Old Guard Competition Finals

Dec. 9, 2016

Dennis Armstrong (left), chair of the Old Guard Committee, with Jefferson Dixon, winner of the Old Guard Oral Competition finals.

Engineering students from the United States, Egypt, India, Lebanon, Turkey and Peru put their presentation skills to the test during the final round of the Old Guard Oral Competition, which took place Nov. 12 at the ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition (IMECE) in Phoenix, Ariz. The annual competition, which is open to ASME student members, was designed to emphasize the importance of being able to deliver clear, concise and effective oral presentations.

Contestants at the Old Guard Competition finals, who were all winners of regional Old Guard Competitions held earlier in the year, each gave 15-minute presentations on a technical, economic or environmental aspect of engineering or other basic engineering theme. Each presentation was then followed by a five-minute question-and-answer session. The presentations were judged by a panel of ASME members on the following four criteria: content, organization, delivery and effectiveness, and the quality of discussion evoked by the presentation.

Old Guard Committee Chair Dennis Armstrong (center) with the top four winners of the Old Guard Oral Competition finals: (left to right) Brennan Harrup, Daniel Kimminau, Jefferson Dixon and Maryam Nsaif.

Jefferson Dixon from Georgia Institute of Technology took first place at the daylong competition with his presentation, “Power Generation from a Sr-90 Betavoltaic Device.” Dixon took home the $2,000 first prize, as well as a special $250 “Innovation Recognition” prize for his presentation.

Three additional prizes were also awarded at the end of the finals. Brennan Harrup from Oral Roberts University won the competition’s $1,500 second prize with his presentation, “The Mark 3.5 Biomechanical Forearm.” Daniel Kimminau from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University placed third and received $1,000 for his presentation, “Hyperloop — Vhyper Pod Design.” Maryam Nsaif from Notre Dame University finished in fourth place at the finals and received $500 for her presentation “Radio Frequency Identification.”