Niner Engineers host peers from around the world in a design/build competition

Categories: General News

Engineering students from across the globe recently gathered on the UNC Charlotte campus to match their skills at an engineering festival (EFx), a popular event run by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Competitions included hovercrafts, robot mini-golf, an elevator pitch and more. 

UNC Charlotte student chapter of ASME hosted the competition, leading the 21 attending teams (from across the U.S. plus Saudi Arabia) through a day-long event, celebrating all the winners and gaining valuable management experience along the way. All 165 attendees shared best practices, technical programming, professional development, networking and more.

The hovercraft competition required teams to design and manufacture a hovercraft using additive manufacturing to pick up and carry a payload through a ground course and deliver it to its final destination. For the robot mini-golf competition, teams had to design and fabricate a robot capable of playing a round of mini-golf through nine obstacles. Two presentation competitions included an elevator pitch, allowing students to showcase their powers or persuasion, and the oral speaking event, where students demonstrated concise presentations of engineering topics.

Dean Robert Keynton joined the EFx event, remarking on the impressive turnout and talent of student engineers from both UNC Charlotte and other institutions. “Congratulations to the winners,” said Keynton, “and I really appreciate the time and focus you invested in this competition, traveling from as far away as Saudi Arabia, to meet in person and experience this event together.” 

Keynton also expressed the importance that all engineering educators place on competitive events and the lessons they offer. “Engineers are critical to society for their technical skills as well as their acute ability to problem solve. It’s important for us as engineering educators to support these students and present experiences that will help them solve the next generation of industry challenges. As a dean, I feel it’s my obligation and privilege to encourage engineering students both here at Charlotte as well as those from other universities.”

Appreciation to Amir Ghasemi, advisor to the UNC Charlotte ASME student chapter and assistant professor of mechanical engineering; Nathan Feggeler, Treasurer of the UNC Charlotte ASME student organization and mechanical engineering junior; and, the entire UNC Charlotte ASME team which was involved in planning and executing the full-day event.

In the top photo, left to right: Jordane Williams, Alex Whitaker, AJ Ayers, Steven Adkins, Dr. Kossack, Student Design Competition advisor, Luke Gutman, Neal Salas Zamudio, Gaetano Edwards, Aidan Brendle

IAM3D® Hovercraft Resupply Vehicle Design Challenge 

1st – Oregon State University (Schubert, Waggoner, Sydnam)
2nd – Virginia Commonwealth University (Brown, Gildea, Haaland, Marchetti, Scaparo, Thakur, Tuttle)
3rd – King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (Algarni, Aljabab)

2024 Student Design Competition (SDC), Robot Mini-Golf   

1st – University of Cincinnati (Ham, Harris, Hertrick, Oladejo-Lawal, Palmer)
2nd – Milwaukee School of Engineering (Capp, Ludwig, Worm)
3rd – University of Central Florida (Cason, Ferrer, Phillips)

ASME Elevator Pitch Competition  

1st – Virginia Commonwealth University (Thakur)
2nd – Virginia Commonwealth University (Scaparo)
3rd – University of South Florida (Jacomini Monteiro Barros Silva)

Oral Presentation Competition 

1st – Christian Brothers University (Cano Moreno)
2nd – Union College (Rhodes)
3rd – Virginia Commonwealth University (Thakur)
Technical:  Virginia Commonwealth University (Thakur)

All participating schools:

Auburn University 
Central Virginia Community College 
Christian Brothers University
Jacksonville University 
King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals 
Milwaukee School of Engineering 
NC State University 
Oregon State University 
Saint Louis University 
Texas Tech University

EFx logo

UNC Charlotte
Union College
University of Central Florida
University of Cincinnati 
University of Houston 
University of Massachusetts Amherst 
University of Missouri 
University of South Florida 
University of Tennessee Knoxville 
Virginia Commonwealth University 
Wentworth Institute of Technology 
Western Kentucky University

Two students with projects at EFx competition
Group of students at EFx competition