Colorado State University will host students from 22 schools as they gather to showcase projects and compete for prizes at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers regional student conference April 3-4.
Two hundred students and faculty advisers will participate in the annual event held at the University Park Holiday Inn in Fort Collins. Students involved in the regional conference come from Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Texas and Mexico.
Competitions will kick off at 6 p.m. April 3 with a challenge to design and build the fastest, most accurate widget sorting machine. The student teams, made up of one to four members, have been working on their designs for one year. Each machine is powered only by batteries and a small motor, and must be able to quickly distinguish good widgets from bad widgets. The competition requires that all machine parts fit inside a shoebox-size container and that each design be assembled in five minutes.
"The design competition is becoming more popular every year," said Chris Whitman, event coordinator and president of Colorado State’s student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. "I anticipate a lot of innovative designs this year. Competition is getting stiffer, so students must be more creative."
Events will continue April 4 with an oral competition from 8 a.m.-noon. Competitors will give 15 minute presentations on various projects they’ve completed. Posters will also be on display all morning and will be judged at 1 p.m. Oral presentations and posters will be judged by a panel of professionals in the industry.
The conference also will include a career fair from 1-3 p.m. April 4. Information sessions will be presented by several companies and student participants will gain insight into mechanical engineering careers.
Conference events will conclude April 4 with a 7 p.m. banquet and awards ceremony.