34th Annual Meeting


Monday – Friday
October 28 – November 1, 2019
Wyndham Grand Downtown Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA

Conference Chair
Stephen J. Ludwick, Aerotech, Inc.

Photo Credit: David Reid/VisitPittsburgh

Student Challenge


Mass measurement challenge
The goal of the Student Challenge is to build an instrument that uses the Watt balance principle to measure a series of masses. Voice coil actuators will be supplied to provide the necessary forces to counteract the weight of the masses. Measurement of displacement and velocity will be achieved using optical knife edge sensors (KES), the characteristics of which will be provided. For more precise displacement measurement in the final assembly at the competition, a Lion Precision capacitance gage (model #CPL591) 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 16 bit ADC (4 channel) and 16 bit DAC (2 channel), and the Lion Precision capacitance gages will be the only components that can be used. A National Instruments myRIO will be supplied (if necessary) 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, REGISTER your team today!

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. More Information…

Important Dates:

May 15, 2019 Rules posted online – Open Registration.
August 21, 2019 Last day to register for the challenge.
September 25, 2019 Last day to submit designs.
October 28, 2019 Student challenge welcome lunch and opening of the challenge.
October 29, 2019 Judging Lunch, and winning team Awards.

Student Challenge Organizing Committee
Luis A. Aguirre, 3M Company
Raymond C. Cady, Corning
Jose Carbalo, ASML
Mark Kosmowski, ESI
Tim Dalrymple, Magic Leap
Kyle Darling, ASML
Byron Knapp, Professional Instruments Company
Stephen Ludwick, Aerotech Inc.
Charles A. Perry, Active Sense Technologies.
Stuart T. Smith, University of North Carolina-Charlotte
Alex Sohn, Facebook Reality Labs