Design Competition


The SHPE Foundation Design Competition is intended to stimulate: creative, intellectual, entrepreneurial ship, echnical presentation, leadership and team work. The competition will test the technical and business aspects of an engineering and/or science students in the fabrication of a cost-effective product. Competitors must research, design, build, and test a marketable product and write a relevant technical paper within an allotted time frame based on the theme for the competition.


The theme for the 2011 SHPE Foundation Design Competition is Living Green. Living Green will require science and knowledge of green technology, how is it designed, manufactured and applied. Green Technology requires a working knowledge of electronics, mechanics, software and Civil Engineering


The Design Competition Entry Form, abstract, and draft design concept paper must all be received by 11:59 pm EST, Saturday, October 1st, 2011.

Entries received after this date/time will be automatically disqualified.


Design Competition Guidelines


  1. Participants must be undergraduate students with a current SHPE membership. Students, who are not current SHPE members, must become SHPE members prior to submitting an entry for this competition. Please visit to complete and submit your membership application and fee.
  2. Design teams may consist at a minimum of two (2) Latino/a undergraduate students and a maximum of six (6) Latino/a undergraduate students.
  3. There is no limit on the number of design teams per college/university. However, all team members must be from the same institution.
  4. Students may only compete as a registered member of one (1) team. If a student competes in more than one team, all those respective teams will be disqualified.
  5. Designs, inventions, or processes funded by an external source (i.e., NSF grant, government research/training grant, corporate sponsored research) are not eligible for submission.
  6. Senior projects or theses are not eligible for submission.


The design, based on the theme, must be a commercially marketable product that has both a unique social benefit and improves the quality of life, especially for the Hispanic communities. This design should not be a duplicate of a currently existing commercial product; however, it may be an improvement to an available commercial product. The design should be creative, and demonstrate technical merit.


Students interested in participating in the design competition must submit the Design Competition Entry Form, an abstract and a design concept paper. No materials will be accepted by fax. Materials may be submitted electronically to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it in MS Word 2003 or later. No Portable Document Format (PDF) will be accepted. Abstracts and design concept papers received in any format other than Microsoft Word will be automatically disqualified.


Each team may solicit the assistance of no more than two (2) graduate students or engineering professionals from industry, academia, or government to serve as mentors. The mentor(s) may assist the team in detailing the design, and if selected as a team finalist, in developing the presentation charts and rehearsing the oral presentation. The name(s) and organization(s) of the mentor(s) must be included in the design concept paper.


The length of the abstract should be between 300 - 400 words. It should be a concise summary of the design concept. Submit with the abstract, a one page hand sketch of robot design with 2 views (top view and side view).

The format of the abstract must adhere to the following:

  • Typed,
  • Single-spaced
  • 1-inch margins,
  • Times New Roman, and
  • 12-pt font

The abstract should include the following header:

Title of Project (Bold, Centered, Times New Roman, 14 pt)
Team Members (Centered, Times New Roman, 12 pt)
Institution (Centered, Times New Roman, 12 pt)
Institution City, State, Zip (Centered, Times New Roman, 12 pt)

NOTE: The abstract will be judged on both content and adherence to formatting guidelines.


The length of the design concept paper is at the discretion of the design team. However, it should be sufficient to technically explain and illustrate the design concept to the reviewers. At minimum, the paper should include:

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Intent of design
  4. Statement of the problem the design is addressing
  5. Proposed or actual design testing and evaluation
  6. Cost Analysis
  7. Conclusion
  8. References

Graphs, charts, tables and references must adhere to APA 5th Ed. formatting.

The paper should also include detailed illustrations of the dimensions, scale, orthographic projection (top, side, front views), and a 3-D view of the design. A developmental/production cost analysis must also be included. You may make assumptions on the quantity to ensure a low cost. Segregate costs by non-recurring (engineering) and recurring (production) costs. Designs without a cost analysis will be immediately rejected.

The format of the design concept paper must adhere to the following:

  • Typed,
  • Single-spaced,
  • 1-inch margins,
  • Times New Roman, and
  • 12 pt Font.

The paper should include the following header:

Title of Project (Bold, Centered, Times New Roman, 14 pt)
Team Members (Centered, Times New Roman, 12 pt)
Institution (Centered, Times New Roman, 12 pt)
Institution City, State, Zip (Centered, Times New Roman, 12 pt)

NOTE: The paper will be judged on both content and adherence to formatting guidelines.


A team of engineers from industry, academe and government will review the abstracts and draft design concept papers to select the top five (5) team finalists to proceed in the production of a design model or prototype and writing of the final design concept paper to be presented on Friday, October 28, at the SHPE Conference in Anaheim, CA.

The abstract and draft concept paper will be evaluated on a 150-point scale.


Finalists must demonstrate a working model or prototype of their design at the SHPE Conference. Emphasis will be placed on demonstrating a working model or example of the design. Be sure that you account for every eventuality, and have a back-up plan or resource. Teams must plan ahead to ensure that they account for shipping or transportation costs or arrangements of their working model or prototype.

NOTE: Team finalists, who fail to present a working model or prototype, will be required to reimburse any and all travel, pre-registration and design material stipends.

No further exceptions will be made to this rule.


The team finalists will make a formal presentation before a panel of judges chosen from industry, academia, and government. The presentation will be open to the general audience attending the SHPE Conference.

Although presentations may be made using an LCD projector, presenters must supply their own laptops, input devices, jump drives, etc. Presentations will be limited to a maximum of twenty (20) minutes. An additional ten (10) minutes will be allotted for questions from the judges and the general audience.

The presentation will be evaluated on a 200-point scale.


Each of the ten (10) team finalists will be awarded $1,000 to develop their product. No additional funds for shipping the prototype or otherwise will be provided. In addition, each team member will receive a four-night SHPE Conference pre-registration package and a $100 travel allowance. Each of the finalists must pre-register by October 1.

NOTE: Students are expected to arrange their travel to arrive in time to be ready to present as early as 8:00 am local conference time, on Friday, October 28.


Winners will be announced at a designated time at the SHPE Conference. The following scholarship awards will be presented to the winning teams:

First Place - $3,000
Second Place - $2,500
Third Place - $2,000
Fourth Place - $1,500
Fifth Place - $1,000

Pending funding availability, should both the product of the winning team warrant further development and the winning team choose to pursue a formal patent for their product, up to $5,000 will be provided to the winning team to submit a technical patent.


By participating in the Design Competition, the authors and mentors of the design concept grant permission to SHPE, Inc. and SHPE Foundation to publish and release, in whole or in part, information and illustrations about their design concept, participant photographs, contact information, and institutional and/or employer affiliation, and other such information for audio, video and print media. Furthermore, the authors and the mentors of the design concept retain the rights to further develop and/or market their own design concept. However, neither SHPE, Inc. nor SHPE Foundation can guarantee the protection of the design concept.


All questions should be directed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


September 30 Deadline for Design Form, abstract, and draft concept paper
October 5 Peer-Review Panel sends list of finalists to AHETEMS
October 10 Acceptance notices sent to ten finalist teams 50% of design materials stipend sent to finalists Abstracts of finalists sent to SHPE Magazine
October 5 Finalists must pre-register for SHPE Conference
October 10 21-Day Deadline for airline reservations
October 13 Final Design Concept Paper Due (Required to present)
October 13 14-Day Deadline for airline reservations
October 15 Confirmation attendance notice sent to finalists
October 26 Finalists should arrive at SHPE Conference
October 29 Formal design competition presentation
Last Updated on Thursday, 15 September 2011 15:41
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