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TryEngineering Today!

TryEngineering Today! is dedicated to providing the latest news and information for students, parents, teachers, and counselors interested in engineering, computing technology and related topics.

student using 3D printer
February 1, 2016 | Student Opportunities

The inaugural ASME Innovative Additive Manufacturing 3D (IAM3D) Challenge is designed to give mechanical and multi-disciplinary undergraduate students around the world an opportunity to re-engineer existing products or create new designs that minimize energy consumption and/or improve energy efficiency. Students will showcase their creativity by demonstrating the value added through their ingenuity, application of sound engineering design principles, and leveraging Additive Manufacturing technology to address a broad spectrum of industrial, manufacturing, and humanitarian challenges.

Judges will choose up to top 15 finalists to assemble their design, showcase their functional prototype, and compete in a 10 minute verbal presentation with additional 5 minutes reserved for Q & A at the 2016 IDETC/CIE/AM3D Conference in Charlotte, North Carolina. The finalist/team will receive up to a maximum of $1500 subsidy to cover travel expenses, hotel, and food while at the IDETC/CIE.

Each winning design in the category will receive $2,000 based on the combined score of the judging criteria. Each entry can be considered for more than one category.

The Faculty Advisor of each winning team will enjoy a complimentary five year ASME membership (a $735 value), AND a $1,000 cash award. A Faculty Advisor will be eligible to receive the award for only one category.

Registration for the Challenge ends on April 15, 2016, at 12 AM EDT (GMT-5).

To learn more visit: https://www.asme.org/events/competitions/iam3d-challenge

Namib Beetle
January 25, 2016 | Innovations

Researchers at Virginia Tech have taken cues from beetles to create technology that could prevent the development and spread of frost. The researchers studied the physiology of the Namib Beetle, which resides in the deserts of southern Africa. This variety of beetle has a shell that is designed to collect moisture from the air and then channel it into the insect's mouth. The shell's design inspired the researchers to develop chemical micropatterns using photolithography, on top of a surface that repels water to deter the spread of frost. Essentially, the researchers created tiny hydrophilic (water-attracting) dots spaced far enough apart that moisture evaporates before frost is able to form and spread across the surface. The pattern was created on a surface only one square centimeter in size, but the researchers believe that this can be scaled up. This technology has potential applications in preventing frost on airplane wings, windshields and heat-pump coils. 

January 18, 2016 | Innovations

New, potentially life-saving, headphone technology debuted this year at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada. Known as Audio Augmented Reality (AAR), the wearer can use this technology to selectively cancel out sounds they do not want to hear, while enhancing those sounds they need to hear. The headphones can be programmed via an app to recognize various “audio triggers” picked up by the headphones’ external microphones. These triggers can include the wearer's own name being called, a bike bell, or even the honking of a car horn. To enable the wearer to hear these vital sounds, the headphones would turn down the audio in response. Conversely the headphones could be programmed to cancel out sounds that the wearer does not want to hear, such as a neighbor’s barking dog. This technology has the potential to improve safety for headphone-wearing pedestrians and cyclists, and reduce countless accidents each year.     

January 14, 2016 | Student Opportunities

The MTConnect Student Challenge is an innovation competition that seeks student-created ideas and applications utilizing the MTConnect Standard.

The MTConnect Student Challenge is an opportunity for all U.S.-based undergraduate and graduate students. It may be of particular interest to those studying engineering or computer science disciplines. 

Why Participate?

  • Students possess the skills, talent, and creativity to develop solutions that are critical to advanced manufacturing.
  • Build relationships with potential employers by demonstrating initiative to learn about their needs and propose solutions.
  • This Challenge is a natural fit as a thesis or capstone project for students who need to demonstrate proficiency and subject mastery.
  • A total of $33,000 will be awarded - $10,500 for the Ideation Competition and $22,500 for the Application Development Competition.

The deadline has been extended to March 15, 2016

To learn more visit: http://web.ncdmm.org/cn/ackdg/Mtconnect

January 6, 2016 | Innovations

Engineers at Tel Aviv University have developed a miniature jumping robot inspired by the characteristics and movement of the locust. The researchers designed the robot, known as TAUB, around the locust's basic biomechanical features as well as its great ability to use stored mechanical energy when jumping. The robot is powered by a small battery and can be controlled remotely using a microcontroller. The researchers employed a 3D printer to create the robot's body out of the same type of plastic used in Lego blocks. The legs of the robot were created using rods, springs, and wire. The robot is approximately five inches long and weighs less than one ounce. It can jump 11 feet in the air and cover a distance of 4.5 feet in a single leap. The researchers envision that the robot will prove useful in surveillance and search and rescue operations.

December 22, 2015 | Student Opportunities

Learn basic programming skills with the "Star Wars: Building a Galaxy with Code" tutorial on Code.org. Drag and drop blocks of code to program the BB-8 droid to walk and collect bits of scrap metal. Team up with Princess Leia to build your own game featuring R2-D2 or C-3PO. Play your game on your smart phone and share your completed game with friends. 

Check out the tutorial!


December 18, 2015 | Announcements

We are pleased to announce the judge's choice and people's choice winners in the IEEE Spark Innovation through Animation Competition.

Judge's Choice winner:  Madeline Loui & Alicia Loui

Nominated by IEEE Member: Alexander Loui

Animation title: The Future of Fitness

People's Choice winner: Andrei Cristian Smărăndoiu 

Animation Title: Smart Home - Improving Life Quality and Reducing Environmental Impact

Congratulations to our winners and to all who challenged themselves to develop a creative animation in this year’s competition!

Check out the winning submissions here

December 7, 2015 | Student Opportunities

Submit your entry in the 2016 EngineerGirl Essay Contest! Imagine yourself as an engineer working on a promising new technology. You may want to consider some of the technologies currently being developed to address one of Engineering’s Grand Challenges.

Write an essay briefly describing the technology and what improvements you think it can provide in at least one of the four main areas of engineering responsibility:

  • Safety
  • Health
  • Well-being, and
  • Environmental sustainability

Discuss any challenges to safety, health, well-being, and sustainability that this technology might present, and describe what you, as an engineer, would do or consider to be sure that your responsibilities are fully addressed.

The contest is open to individual girls and boys in the following three competition categories :

  1. Elementary School Students (grades 3-5); Essays must be 400 to 700 words.
  2. Middle School Students in (grades 6-8); Essays must be 600 to 1100 words.
  3. High School Students (grades 9-12); Essays must be 1000 to 1500 words.


Be sure to read the full Rules and Requirements: 

(Read Online) (Download PDF)

Contest Deadline February 1

Submit your essay via the 

Online Submission Form 

by February 1, 2016 at 6:00 pm EST.


November 25, 2015 | Student Opportunities

You are invited to compete in "Generation Nano: Small Science, Superheroes," a competition that asks individual high school students to submit an original idea for a superhero, using modern nanotechnology research to inspire unique "gear" for their hero. Students will submit a short written entry, as well as a short video or comic, that illustrates their superhero's nanotechnology-enabled gear. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to showcase their creation at the 2016 USA Science & Engineering Festival in Washington, D.C.

Learn more: 


November 16, 2015 | Announcements

Vote for your favorite finalist in the 2015 IEEE Spark Animation Competition! In this year's challenge, participants were invited to create and record an original animation based on the theme “Smart!” such as “Smart Homes,” “Smart Cars,” or other Smart technologies.

Cast your vote through 25 November! 


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