Win a student contest and go to the Big Apple. That’s how it worked for four engineering students at East Caroline University earlier this month. The student team entered a railroad hand cart for a mechanical engineering class. They entered it into Rotor Clip ’s annual Ring-A-Majig contest and won first place. The team pocketed $500 and won a trip to the Atlantic Design and Manufacturing show .
|Rotor Clip's contest winners from Eastern Carolina University include Zachery Rogers, Samuel Poindexter, John Rayner, Erik Panarusky (image by Design News ).|
The Model Railroad Hand Cart was designed and built by Erik Panarusky, Sam Poindexter, John Rayner, and Zachery Rogers, under the direction of student advisor, Ranjeet Agarawala. This year’s competition was more competitive than last year’s inaugural contest. “We almost doubled our contest entries, so we had much higher participation than last year,” Jürgen Wenzel, marketing communications manager at Rotor Clip, told Design News .
Wide Range of Engineering Criteria
The competing entries were judged on originality and creativity; application of sound engineering principles as they apply to retaining rings; complexity and functionality of the design; and quality of the design presentation. Rotor Clip praised the quality of entrees. “The students demonstrated their grasp of engineering principles with a variety if submissions,” said Wenzel. “One group designed a new innovative skateboarding axle, while others used existing technology to show us how components can be fastened solely with retaining rings.”
|Here's the winning design of a model railroad hand cart (image courtesy of Rotor Clip).|
Rotor Clip challenged engineering students across the nation to show off their engineering prowess and to come up with a unique device design that incorporated a set of retaining rings as the fastening method. For the 2017 contest Rotor Clip added a twist to the challenge. “Last year it was it just retaining rings. This year we asked students to include one functioning wave spring,” said Wenzel. The designed device also had to display motion or movement.
The ATMAE Connection
The contest was held in affiliation with the Association of Technology, Management and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). Four mechanical engineers from Rotor Clip served as judges. They viewed the five finalist's presentations and selected the top three winners. A number of ATMAE-member professors made the contest entry a project for their mechanical engineering classes. “We had four groups for Purdue,” said Wenzel. “Professor Rosemary Astheimer made it part of the spring semester curriculum. She used the contest as a teaching tool.” One of the Purdue groups came in second.
Through its affiliation with ATMAE, Rotor Clip’s goal is to support education in STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) with programs that expose students to real-world situations and encourage them to pursue careers in manufacturing. “We’re now in discussion in opening it up to more schools. Right now, it’s schools that are affiliated with ATMAE,” said Wenzel. “Our engineers feel it should be opened more to other schools and programs.”