33rd Annual Meeting


Sunday – Friday, November 4 – November 9, 2018
Red Rock Casino • Resort • Spa
Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

Conference Chair:
Kate M. Medicus, Optimax Systems, Inc.

Student Challenge

Optical measurement challenge
The ASPE Student Challenge is a multi-disciplinary precision engineering project drawing students from mechatronics, optics, metrology, engineering and physics. The goal of the of the 2018 challenge is to build a confocal-based system to measure the thickness of glass plate specimens ranging from 0.1 to 0.4 mm thick (25 x 25 mm square). Voice coil actuators will be supplied to provide automated displacement of the probe relative to the specimen and for other actuation (alignment, for example). Displacement feedback of actuators will be achieved using provided optical knife edge sensors (KES). The confocal probe will produce an output signal that rises to a maximum value when it is at a fixed optical path length from a reflecting surface. To calibrate the instrument in the final assembly at the competition, a Lion Precision capacitance gage having a measurement range of 0.5 mm will be available to each team.

Grading for the challenge will be based on design and creativity of the instrument (10%), a comprehensive uncertainty budget (20%), a preliminary design report (20%), and performance at the competition (50%) for accuracy, linearity and repeatability.

Mechblocks, voice coil actuators, voltage to current amplifiers, knife edge sensors, a supplied confocal probe, and the Lion Precision capacitance gages will be the only components that can be used. A National Instruments myRIO will be available for controlling the assembled instrument and acquiring position information. A complete spreadsheet containing detailed information plus component STEP files will be available to all teams.

For Students
More details about the Challenge will be available soon.  In the meantime, get ready to register your team!

Sponsorship Opportunities
Getting teams engaged early will also allow for the organizing committee and ASPE to have more time to obtain the resources required. This may include sponsorships for hardware, training, and travel support.  Selected funding from sponsors will go to prizes, the purchase of recyclable hardware (i.e. reusable for subsequent events), and student financial support.  Student financial support will help defray travel costs for student teams to the challenge and will be an opportunity for the sponsors to establish closer relationships with the University, professors and students.


Important Dates:

May 11, 2018:  Rules posted online – Open Registration.
August 24, 2018:  Last day to register.
September 20, 2018:  Last day to submit designs.
November 4, 2018:  After 5:30 pm open Student Challenge event.
November 5, 2018:  Judging Lunch, and winning team Awards.
November 8, 2018:  Judging Lunch, and winning teams Presentations.


Student Challenge Organizing Committee

Luis A. Aguirre, 3M Company
Raymond C. Cady, Corning
Jacob W. Chesna, Intel Corporation
Tim Dalrymple, Magic Leap
Kyle Darling, ASML
Matias Heinrich, Google
Byron Knapp, Professional Instruments Company
Stuart T. Smith, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Alex Sohn, Oculus