Three BU Teams Place in Intel Cornell Cup Competition

in ECE Spotlight Student, ECE Spotlight Undergraduate Research, NEWS

By Sara Elizabeth Cody

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Team E-FIRE consists of graduated senior electrical engineer majors Derek Kenyon, John Marcao, Junhao Hua (Neil), Casey Pelkowsky and Nathaniel Michener. Photo by Frank Curran Photography

Three teams from BU competing in the fifth annual Intel-Cornell Cup earned top marks in the final round of the competition, more than any other competing university. E-FIRE, an ECE senior design project team, won third place. Team Moove, also a team of ECE seniors, and Breakerbot, a multidisciplinary team of ECE and ME students sponsored by Consolidated Edison, received honorable mentions. The Intel-Cornell Cup is a college-level design competition that aims to empower inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology.

E-FIRE, or Energetic Field Instrument using Radiated Electrons, took home the $1,500 cash prize for their entry, an instrument to measure high-energy electrons in space. Working with Professor Ronald Knepper (ECE) as their primary “customer”, along with Professor Ted Fritz (ECE, ME, CAS) and Assistant Professor Brian Walsh (ME), the team designed a device that can measure electric fields in near-Earth space aboard a nanosatellite.

The competition, which alternates between live and online competition annually, followed an online format this year. Initially, six teams from BU advanced to the semifinal round and competed against 31 other teams from around the country. Five teams from BU, comprised of senior design project teams, competed with the 24 other teams in the final round.

Projects submitted by BU teams were completed by the end of March, fulfilling both a course requirement and a competition requirement with support from Associate Professor of Practice Alan Pisano (ECE) and the other ECE Senior Design Capstone supporting faculty members, Lecturer Osama Alshaykh and Senior Lecturer Babak Kia. The final judging took place at the end of April. The competition is sponsored primarily by Intel and Cornell University.