ASME Engineering Festivals™ (E-Fests) Score Another Success with Event in Michigan

Apr 26, 2019

April 29, 2019

Students from universities across the globe came together in Michigan for three days earlier this month to celebrate the fun and excitement of engineering at the third E-Fest to be held so far this year — E-Fest North.

More than 900 engineering students, educators and visitors attended E-Fest North, which was held at the Michigan State University campus in East Lansing, Mich. The festival, held from April 5-7, provided students with an action-packed weekend filled with engrossing sessions and workshops, a variety of networking opportunities and exciting ASME student competitions including the Student Design Competition, Human Powered Vehicle Challenge, the Innovative Additive Manufacturing 3D Challenge and the Old Guard Oral Presentation and Technical Poster Competitions.

During the E-Fest North keynote session, “Making the Moon Accessible to the World,” John Thornton of Astrobotic discussed his company’s goal of becoming the first private company to land on the moon.
During the E-Fest North keynote session, “Making the Moon Accessible to the World,” John Thornton of Astrobotic discussed his company’s goal of becoming the first private company to land on the moon.

 

E-Fest North featured a variety of sessions that both entertained and informed the students attending. One session that was particularly popular with attendees was the keynote presentation, “Making the Moon Accessible to the World,” featuring John Thornton, CEO of Astrobotic. During the presentation, Thornton talked about his small, Pittsburgh-based company and its objective of becoming the first private company to make a moon landing. Thornton is currently coordinating his company’s Peregrine Lunar Lander mission, which is slated for early 2021 and expected to deliver cargo to the moon for a variety of companies, government agencies and universities. The company has already secured 12 contracts for the mission. Students in the audience were captivated by his presentation, with many staying after the session had ended to ask additional questions.

Ohio University was named the overall winner at the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) at E-Fest North in Michigan.

Ohio University was named the overall winner at the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC) at E-Fest North in Michigan.

Another session that was a hit with E-Fest participants was the presentation, “Roller Coaster Dynamics: Engineering Thrill.” The session, led by Prof. Jeff Rhoads from Purdue University, gave attendees an introduction to the field of roller coaster theme-park ride design, with an emphasis on the evolution of ride designs, the fundamentals of roller coaster dynamics and recent efforts to engineer even more intense roller coaster experiences. Rhoads also discussed the various types of ride design software that enable rapid prototyping of roller coaster designs using virtual reality.

Other popular sessions with students at E-Fest North included “Mindfulness and Empathy as Productivity Tools,” given by Brandon Graham of Arke Aeronautics and Omar Kheir of EPCOM; “Additive Manufacturing for the Aerospace Industry,” presented by Stephanie Klimczak of Boeing Research and Technology; “Design for the Next Generation of Engineers,” with John Devitry from Utah State University’s Center of Space Engineering; and “Creating Your Personal Brand,” presented by Brian Town of Michigan Creative.

The Ohio University HPVC team, shown here during the endurance event, also placed first in the design category, second in the women’s speed event, and third in the men’s speed event and the endurance category.

The Ohio University HPVC team, shown here during the endurance event, also placed first in the design category, second in the women’s speed event, and third in the men’s speed event and the endurance category.

In addition to the sessions and workshops, E-Fest North featured several of the Society’s major student competitions, including the Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC). Thirty-seven teams took part in the competition, which tasked teams of engineering students to design and build human powered vehicles and then test the durability of those vehicles in men’s and women’s drag races and a two-and-a-half hour endurance competition.

Ohio University was the overall winner of the HPVC with their entry, Lynx, taking home the $1,000 top prize. The team also placed first in the design category, winning another $250, and finished second in the women’s drag race, and third in the men’s drag race and the endurance category. The University of Toronto was the overall runner-up, winning the $750 second prize. The team also received an additional $750 for placing first in the men’s and women’s drag races and the endurance event. South Dakota State University finished third overall and received a $500 prize. That team also placed second in the endurance event, third in the women’s drag race and third in the design category.

The University of Florida finished in first place at the Student Design Competition at E-Fest North.

The University of Florida finished in first place at the Student Design Competition at E-Fest North.

The University of Florida won top honors — and a $500 prize — at another ASME student competition at E-Fest, the Student Design Competition, for which students were challenged to design and construct remote-controlled devices that could quickly collect an assortment of balls of different sizes from their stands and place them in a collection area without the balls hitting the floor. The team from Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, placed second at the SDC, winning $300, while the University of Cincinnati took home the $150 third prize.

Other big winners at E-Fest North included Schmuel Schollar from the University at Buffalo and Rodolfo Bailon of Instituto Tecnologico de Ciudad Juarez, who each placed first in separate Old Guard Oral Presentation Competitions; Ahmad Nimer of Texas A&M University, who took first place in the Old Guard Poster Competition; and Cameron Metcalfe of Eastern Washington University, who finished first in the IAM3D Hovercraft Competition.

Radhika Murgai, a junior at Michigan State University who served as the Student Design Competition student lead, was quite impressed with her experience at the festival. “I’ve seen so much innovation here and that’s what engineering really is about,” she said. “I think engineering is a great field to be in, and I’m really glad more attention is being brought to it through events like this.”

ASME will hold a fourth event, E-Fest South America, from Aug. 8-10 in Lima, Peru.