UW-Madison: Engineering students compete with unique inventions

CONTACT: Fred Elder, (608) 263-9328, elder@engr.wisc.edu

MADISON – A pedal-powered riding lawn mower, a green garbage disposal, an attachment for wheelchairs that increases traction in slick conditions: These, and others, are the designs that circulate inside engineering students’ minds.

And on Wednesday, Dec. 15, those designs will appear as fully functioning prototypes during the Engineering Mechanics and Astronautics Fall Design Competition.

For the competition, seven University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering mechanics student design teams will cap a semester of hard work and compete for more than $4,000 in prizes.

Each team will deliver a presentation that attempts to convince the judges its invention is unique, useful and marketable. The students will display fully functioning prototypes and present business plans for their inventions. Judges will award prizes for complete designs with functional prototypes and business plans that are likely to succeed in the real world.

The judges include UW-Madison engineering mechanics alumna Mary Baker, chair of ATA Engineering in San Diego, and an expert in satellite system engineering, launch and road vehicle dynamics, and shock and vibration in electronics and consumer products; Ed Gisske, a UW-Madison electrical engineering and mechanical engineering alum who owns Gisske Engineering, a company that designs and develops electrical and mechanical products for forensic analysis and testing in Mount Horeb, Wis.; and Jody Peterson, who earned a master of engineering in engine systems from UW-Madison and currently is lead design engineer for the Boeing 787-9 G5 coolant pump system with Hamilton Sundstrand of Rockford, Ill.

Student presentations are open to the public and will be held at 2:30 p.m. Dec. 15 in Room 1610 Engineering Hall on the UW-Madison campus. Paid parking is available in the adjacent parking ramp.

Also beginning at 2:30 p.m. on Dec. 15, watch the presentations live online and cast votes for the $500 Peoples’ Choice Award. Do so at jQuery(document).ready(function($) { $.post('https://www.wisbusiness.com/wp-admin/admin-ajax.php', {action: 'wpt_view_count', id: '1344532'}); });