Launching Ideas, Impacting Society

in Uncategorized
November 20th, 2012

Second Annual Imagineering Competition Starts Now

By Mark Dwortzan

Screen shot 2012-11-20 at 3.58.36 PM

Second prize-winner Konstantinos Oikonomopoulos (ME'14) presenting a prototype of his highly accurate, affordable, easy-to-assemble, desktop 3D printer at the first annual Imagineering Competition.

Second prize-winner Konstantinos Oikonomopoulos (ME’14) presenting a prototype of his highly accurate, affordable, easy-to-assemble, desktop 3D printer at the first annual Imagineering Competition.

Engineering undergraduates with an idea that could change the world—or at least make it a better place—are invited to enter it in the College of Engineering’s second annual Imagineering Competition, which starts today. Designed to reinforce the ideal of creating the Societal Engineer by enabling undergraduates to express their creativity and entrepreneurial capabilities on ideas that impact society, the competition welcomes participating individuals and teams to take advantage of the extensive resources in theBinoy K. Singh Imagineering Lab and produce an original project.

The College will award three top prizes—$2,500, $1,500 and $1,000—to qualifying projects, along with assistance with U.S. Patent submission and a marketing analysis consultation. Projects may commence any time after November 20 and entrance forms must be submitted by April 1.

Students are asked to generate their own project ideas and teams (which may include students from other BU colleges and schools), and the Imagineering Lab will post a list of potential project topics and team members to support this process. Projects may address any application but are particularly encouraged in the areas of healthcare, energy and sustainability, security, and global technologies for the developing world. As they transform their ideas into prototypes, participating individuals and teams may consult with Imagineering Lab assistants to address questions and obtain needed materials and equipment

The competition will conclude on April 18, when the Competition Committee will judge qualifying projects based on originality, ingenuity and creativity; quality of design and prototype; functionality; and relationship to areas of emphasis. At that time entrants will provide a 15-minute presentation/demonstration covering the idea’s origin, the purpose of the prototype, design features, the build/assembly process, and a brief description of the project’s potential market and customer impact. Afterwards, they will field questions from the committee.

Sponsored by John Maccarone (ENG’66), the competition’s ultimate goal is to inspire student efforts to design, build and test new technologies that promise to move society forward. In that spirit, last year’s finalists produced prototypes for a low-cost sounding rocket that could vastly improve access to space for a variety of science experiments that could help improve life on Earth; a personal wind turbine that could reduce individuals’ fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming; and a simple, affordable, desktop 3D printer that could enable more people around the world to rapidly prototype manufactured products and boost local economies.

“There are only a few occasions in undergraduate life were you have the opportunity to present your work to experts in the field, and I am glad I took had chance to do so,” said the creator of that 3D printer and last year’s second prize-winner, Konstantinos Oikonomopoulos (ME’14). “The experience that I had with the competition has certainly motivated me to continue developing my engineering ideas outside the classroom.”

Questions? Email engadmsw@bu.edu.

Imagineering Lab programming is supported by the Kern Family Foundation and alumni contributions to the ENG Annual Fund.