More than $11,000 in prize money has been distributed during the first RIDGID Design Competition at Case Western Reserve University. Four student teams ranging in size from one to six members spent five months developing a compact, light-weight, innovative self-contained pressing tool for joining copper tube.
RIDGID, part of Emerson and manufacturer of RIDGID brand tools, sponsored the engineering design competition and hopes to make it an annual event. Besides giving real world experience for fledgling engineers at the Case School of Engineering, the company provided students with sample press tools from their current line of products, and materials including a $2,000 budget to create a prototype to demonstrate their ideas. Students also had access to the RIDGID prototyping facilities.
"These kinds of endeavors are a vital part of the school's life," says Faculty Adviser Ken Loparo, Nord Professor of Engineering. "It provides our students with an opportunity to apply what they learn in the classroom to real-world engineering design problems within a business context." The projects were judged on innovation, functionality, size, weight, and cost as well as the students' overall presentation skills and project documentation.
"This has been a great experience for RIDGID," said RIDGID Vice President of Engineering Paul Gress. "We get to pose new questions and see new solutions in action. These students are the type of creative thinkers that we hope will join the RIDGID team someday."
The student designs had to be cordless and could use alternative energy sources. The winners were announced at a ceremony on May 7 on the Case Western Reserve University campus.
A direct acting hydraulic system designed by Joseph Recht and Nicholas Tierno won the first place prize award of $7500. Rose Glinka, John Roush, and Daniel Shelberg shared the $2,500 second prize for their expanding gas design. Third place and $1,000 went to the six-person team of Eric Diller, Zach Fredin, Sean Knowles, Mike Malguarnera, Geoff Peyton, and Russell Smith for their electric motor and ball screw design. David Rear won the technical consultation award of $1000 for his combustion driven design concepts.
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