A total of 24 teams with 131 students participated in the first Louisiana Collegiate Design Competition, organized and presented by LSU engineering students.
The students were inspired to create the event, held Feb. 22-23, by their experience at the Texas Regional Engineering Competition last year, according to a news release.
“We had a blast, both working on a team and utilizing our engineering in a practical way, and we wanted to capture the experience that we went through at TREC and provide the opportunity to more Louisiana students,” said Lucy Guo, a mechanical engineering major from Baton Rouge who served as the Louisiana competition's design chairwoman and industry rep coordinator. “The main reason people attend college is to learn, and a lot of times, students get caught up in the theoretical learning aspect. We wanted to provide a more hands-on experience to help students learn both engineering concepts, as well as other soft skills like leadership, communication and teamwork.”
Of the 24 competing teams, 19 were from LSU, two from Tulane University and three from area high schools: Baton Rouge Magnet High, Math Science and Arts East Academy, and St. Mary's Dominican High School. Students were tasked with transporting five differently sized payloads to a target area in a given time frame. They received the design prompt on a Friday evening and were given seven hours the next day to craft and prototype their design. Each team was graded on points earned in the competition, cost efficiency and industry judge score.
The winning team was Bengal Robotics ME’s, made up of mechanical engineering majors Mia Reed, of New Orleans, Ava Landry, of Geismar, Madeline Kirby, of Plaquemine, and Maurice Mayeux, of Moreauville.
Entergy, one of the companies attending the event, also gave out the Entergy-We Power Life-Teamwork Award to the team it believed displayed exceptional engineering. That team was the Enganerds, make up of Jordan Holland, an electrical and computer engineering major from Baton Rouge; Paul Blackmore, a mechanical engineering major from Baton Rouge; Julie Reinecke, an electrical engineering major from Baton Rouge; Ruby Roberg, a chemical engineering major from St. Francisville; Tripp Miller, a mechanical engineering major from Sykesville, Maryland; and Landon Weber, an electrical and computer engineering major from Baton Rouge.
“I feel like it went extremely well for a first-time event,” Guo said. “Participation was great and I was blown away by the prototype designs that teams came up with. I do hope that this will be an annual event. A lot of participants expressed interest in coming back either to compete or to help out with planning. One of the Tulane teams mentioned that they wanted to host an event like this at Tulane and also expressed interest in it being an event that switched to a different school each year.”