Engineering students from across Europe took centre stage at the electronica trade fair in Munich on 10th November, as winners of the Texas Instruments Innovation Challenge European Design Contest presented their concepts on how TI technology can be applied to solve challenges faced by our world today.
Doug Phillips, Texas Instruments Worldwide University Programme Director said: “The reason the TI university programme exists and why we hold design contests is to give students the tools and resources needed to nurture innovation: from idea to invention and possibly even to industry. Judging the TI Innovation Challenge Design Contest filled us with excitement about the future of engineering as students think about how to solve problems from automotive to industrial, from environmental to energy.”
From his side, Alexandre Titin-Snaider, Director of TI Education Technology for Europe mentioned: “I have been hugely impressed by the quality, creativity and ingenuity the teams have shown in putting together their innovating concepts, leveraging STEM competencies acquired through the course of their curriculum. Combining them with an entrepreneurship soft skills training offered by TI and the UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation of the TUM Munich University, is a ‘way to go’ for a sustainable Electronics Systems design industry in Europe.”
More than 600 students from more than 30 European countries participated in the design competition, with winners chosen from three different categories: automotive, industrial, and innovation. Winning projects were selected for their use of engineering practices and were judged on industry-ready standards, such as quality of the design, written documentation and effective use of TI technology.
First prize in the automotive category went to the University of Bologna (Italy), where students used a range of TI technologies including two MSP432 microcontrollers to create a connected motorcycle helmet that alerts motorcyclists to potentially dangerous situations on the road. Students from the University of Trento (Italy) won the industrial category with their design for a long-range monitoring system powered by plant microbial fuel cell, and using TI’s HDC1080 digital humidity sensor. Finally, in the innovation category, the winning design came from future engineers at Brno University of Technology (Czech Republic). The judges were impressed with their concept for a wireless system using TI technology including the Sub-1 GHz CC1101 low-cost sub-1 GHz RF transceiver, to deliver very accurate (<1ms) low latency time measurements in sports.
Angelo D’Aloia, who was part of winning team from the University of Bologna, said: “My teammates and I love motorcycles, but we want to be safe, and that's why we decided to create Shelmet. It is a smart helmet that exploits wearables and IoT technologies. It is one of a kind because it is powered by green energy. We have been testing it for five months and we never charged the battery.”
For the winners, the opportunity to present their ideas to a packed auditorium of TI experts, university educators and entrepreneurs from across Europe, was the culmination of a busy week of workshops and seminars arranged by TI together with the Technical University of Munich to equip the teams with a full range of skills to turn their ideas into actual designs and then learn how to bring them to market.
During the intensive three day course held at the UnternehmerTUM Center for Innovation and Business Creation, students met with entrepreneurs, start-up owners and prototyping specialists to cover concepts that included marketing strategy, business model development and entrepreneurial growth. Each winning team also received a cash prize of $5,000 to take their inventions forward.
In its seventh year, the TI Innovation Challenge Design Awards has been open to teams of between two to five members aged 18 years of age or older who are registered engineering students (Undergraduate, Master and PhD). Mouser Electronics has been co-sponsoring the 2016 competition.