As part of our educational outreach and in support of NSBE students in Region 1, Draper is sponsoring a Technical Challenge Competition to showcase NSBE student members’ ability to cultivate innovative ideas, solve technical problems, and present their ideas and solutions with technical writing and presentation skills. The goal of the competition is for students to develop an innovated solution to one of the technical problems listed below. The competition starts in October 2022 and will culminate at the Region 1 Fall Regional Conference in November 2022.
Draper staff will administer the competition, judging the students’ ability to solve a technical problem and select the winning team by a review committee comprised of engineers. Each team must develop an innovative technical solution, to one of the problems we have defined, and present their approach to Draper staff.
Contestants will submit an abstract via email, the details of which are outlined below, and the review committee will evaluate all abstract submissions received by the deadline to identify the finalists prior to the conference. Finalists will be selected from the most competitive abstracts and tasked with presenting their ideas and solutions at the conference in the form of a PowerPoint presentation. One winning team will be chosen following the presentations and scholarships awarded.
Each team will propose a technical approach to a problem area of the contestants’ choosing, listed below. The first phase of the competition requires contestants to submit an abstract, with no more than 300 words, briefly summarizing a problem statement, approach, and how it relates to work conducted at Draper. The second phase, for contestants whose abstracts were selected, consists of a technical presentation to a panel of judges, showcasing the team’s proposed solution to the problem in greater detail. The presentation will aim to persuade that the student’s approach is technically feasible and thorough with respect to solving their chosen problem. The proposal may include experimental procedures and intended analysis, preliminary design and testing, or a systems level design that solves the problem.
The submission deadline is November 4th, 2022. Please find complete submission details here.
Background: During COVID, cell phone manufacturers developed a technique for contract tracing using anonymized cell phone data to determine when people were in proximity. With the advent of the internet of things an ubiquitous cell phones, the work is awash in sensors.
Challenge: If you could access sensors on many phones and internet of things, what could you do with it for the public good? What challenges would you foresee: technically and ethically? What are the technologies and steps you would need to execute this project?
Background: Recently the field of chemistry and polymer science has generated efficient means for cross-coupling in the form of click chemistry, as well as efficient motifs for synthesizing well controlled macromolecular architectures (LRP, ROMP, ADMET, etc.) However, both developments exploit functional groups which are not readily compatible.
Challenge: Considering these limitations, what is an effective means to incorporate click functional monomers, that would enable post polymerization side chain click coupling, into a polymer with controlled molecular weight and low polydispersity.
Background: If humans ever have long-term habitation on the moon or mars, it will be important to be able to build things in place. New advances in 3-D printing make this somewhat more accessible than in the past but resources would be a challenge.
Challenge: How could extraterrestrial compounds (differing impurities, isotope percentages, or e.g. really high-Z materials that are not stable on earth) they impact processing/properties or offer novel capabilities that do not exist on earth? OR what if we brought stuff back to earth; what could we do with it?
Background: Cloud storage allows people and data to connect from anywhere and at anytime. The data is entrusted with a third party, who offers adequate security measures like encryption and MFA. However concerns over the security and privacy still remains. The data in cloud computing is mutable in that the stored data can be changed or tampered with. A new technology using Blockchain offers a more secure and flexible alternative to data storage. It is an encrypted system that uses different methodologies to encrypt and store data. It also distributes the data across different node which forms a consensus on the exact location of the data. This is different from cloud storage where the data remains in one location and accessible by a user as a whole. Blockchain prevents modification or deleting of existing data that helps prevents data tampering. Unlike cloud storage which can be public or private, Blockchain is always public. Every transaction is accounted for and cannot be hidden from the user. The distributed nature of the data, transparency of the transaction and the immutability of the transacted data make it a reasonable candidate for creating a Voting Block chaining System which provides anonymity using crypto algorithms. A vote on the Blockchain can be traced real-time and cannot be altered.
Challenge: What protocols should be implemented to handle data sharing over multiple nodes? Device multiple methods to prevent duplicating of Blockchains ? There are different approaches to implementing Blockchains, which can make the solution either bloated and cost prohibitive on the one hand or potentially weaken the security on the other. What policies and tradeoff should one consider to factor in robustness, security and redundancy of a Voting Blockchain System?
Human centric Design
Background: As we become more aware of the devastating long term effects of head injuries, there is a consistent push for innovative ways to detect and diagnosis head trauma particularly concerning sports and the military.
Challenge: Students describe your approach to designing novel embedded systems to track head impacts/decelerations in real time?
All finalists participating in the final round of the challenge competition at the Fall Regional Conference will receive participation recognition from Draper. The winning team will be chosen by the judges based on the competition guidelines.
First Place: $3,500
The winning team will be selected and notified at the conference. Any team who is unable to present their presentation at the conference will be disqualified. Participants should also review our opportunities for summer 2023 internship postings here. Priority review will be granted.
The following criteria will be used to evaluate the written abstract and for problem solution and the technical presentation:
- Clear Identification of Problem Statement (45%)
- Novel Technical Approach (45%)
- Why is Draper uniquely suited to help solve this technical problem (10%)
- Innovation and Creativity (20%)
- Technical Depth of Solution (20%)
- Alignment with Draper Capabilities (10%)
- Depth of Research into Prior Art (15%)
- Feasibility of solution (15%)
- Broader Impact, Potential Benefit to Society (10%)
- Presentation skills (10%)
In the event of a tie, the judges will determine the winner based on a team’s ability to convey the problem challenges, risks, feasibility and overall creativity/originality of the tied entries. Judges’ decisions are final, binding, and conclusive on all matters related to the competition.
- Must be a member of NSBE.
- Employees of Draper (and their immediate family members and/or those living in the same household, whether or not related) are not eligible to win.
- Graduate and Undergraduate students who are enrolled in a degree program in the 2022-2023 academic calendar year.
- Teams must consist of 1-4 members.
- All majors welcome.
- All contestants must register their information, along with the title and abstract submitted via email, listing names, addresses, phone numbers, e-mail address, NSBE Membership Number, college attending, major and degrees received or expected (B.S., M.S., etc.).
- Student-competitors under the age of 18 are required to provide the contact information, name, email and phone number, of a parent, guardian or university advisor, to [email protected], in order to participate and receive the scholarship award.