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2021 ASPE Student Challenge

The ASPE Student Challenge is an annual precision engineering student competition inviting students from engineering and technical disciplines to participate in designing & building a precision mechanical system and showcase their precision engineering efforts/skills during the competition at the conference. The challenge typically tests the student teams on various aspects of precision engineering including precision machine element design, mechatronics, controls, metrology and optics & provides the students, a glimpse into the design & development of a precision system. Below please see more information regarding the 2021 Student Challenge, 2021 Student Challenge Sponsors, 2021 Student Challenge Organizing Committee, and past Student Challenge Teams.

Student Challenge Power Point Download

Student Challenge Preliminary Grading Rubric

2021 Preliminary Plan

Preliminary Plan
November 1-5, 2021 | Minneapolis, MN 

Student Challenge Power Point Download

Student Challenge Preliminary Grading Rubric

Students are provided (Aug 25, 2021) with:

  • NewWayXY air-bearing (10 mm2 travel range) with Heidenhain LIKgo line scales – 78 nm resolution
  • Motus Mechanical Flexure – based scribe tool (Z ) mechanism with feedback sensing using Lion Capacitance probe Chardon Tool Diamond scribing tool.
  • Sample substrates – 20 x 20 mm Copper coated Si wafer  held on a vacuum chuck •Open Hardware and LabVIEW Software to control the stages and flexure mechanism.
  • CPM, UNC Charlotte  developed 16 bit DAQ with 3 Channel current amplifiers to operate voice coil actuators Consulting sessions with experts in the various fields will be provided. – between Sep 1 & Nov 1.
  • Means to gage progress at the school.
  • Means to be able to ship a few samples to Zeiss Industrial Metrology – before progress report  in Oct 1st.
  • Means to either measure the final samples at the conference or ship 2 weeks before Nov 1st to the Zeiss.
  • At the conference, room with meals and drinks.
  • Recognition to all, and monetary prices to the top 3 schools ($4 , $2 and $1 Ks)
  • Grading rubric will allow for machine improvements but points are only given for manufacturing processes & results.

School needs access to:

  • Clean/dry air (around 80 psi).
  • National Instruments myRIO Controller.
Key Dates
Key Dates:  
June 1Open Registration – students to fill up online form – by invitation only. 
Aug 25  Hardware arrives at schools. Start challenge. 
Sep 24Ship one sample before this date to the location provided for measurements. 
Oct 1Present remotely their preliminary results to judges, they will provide feedback. 
Oct 15Ship 2 final samples by Oct 15 to the location provided for measurements.  Note: this step only required with ASPE virtual.Virtual*
Oct 21  Measurement Facility will provide results. Note: this step only required with ASPE virtual.Virtual*
Oct 22Submit final report. 
Nov 1During the ASPE annual conference, students will manufacture a couple of gratings and will have access to a measurement machine. Live+
Nov 2Students will present their results to the judges – 15 minutes presentation. 

Notes:
* If at least 3 students attend the conference, they do not have to ship final sample by Oct 15.
+ will only for the teams that have 3 students at the conference.
Meet the 2021 Team
Content Coming Soon!
2021 Committee Members
  • Luis A. Aguirre – 3M Company
  • Kumar Arumugam – NIST
  • Dipankar Behara – UT Austin
  • Paul Brackman – Zeiss 
  • Raymond C. Cady – Corning
  • Jacob Cole – UNC Charlotte 
  • Liam G Connolly – UT Austin
  • Tim Dalrymple
  • Drew Devitt – New Way Bearings
  • Chunjie Fan – UNC Charlotte
  • Mark T. Kosmowski – Electro-Scientific Industries, Inc.,
  • Mark Schmitt
  • Don Martin – Martin Mason LLC 
  • Senajith Bandara Rekawa – Lawrence Berkeley Laboratories
  • Nilabh Roy – Canon Nanotechnologies
  • Stuart Smith – UNC Charlotte
  • Alex Sohn – Facebook Reality Labs
  • Trevor Stolber – 3M company
Student Challenge Sponsors

The Student Challenge was created to help our society develop new talent that not only understands the basic engineering principles but also can use their hands to quickly build prototypes that demonstrate those principles. 

Since 2014, we held a successful event for ASPE as it has given the society the opportunity to reach out to new members and allowed our supporting companies to interact with students interested in precision engineering.  The student participation has also increased from 15 the first two years to 30 in 2016 and, including the dip to 20 in the pandemic year now averages around 27 students.  Along the same lines the expenses have also increased so we are needing your monetary assistance.  You can find some details about this year’s challenge at the ASPE Website link:

Student Challenge Information

This year, the challenge will occur in two phases.

  1. Design and prototyping will occur at the team’s school in advance of the ASPE Annual Meeting
  2. Assembly and testing will occur at the ASPE Annual Meeting

To introduce all participants (teams, mentors, judges, sponsors) and discuss the logistics of the challenge, there will be a student challenge welcome lunch on Sunday during the period between tutorials.  Sponsors will be invited to attend and have an opportunity to give brief overviews of their companies and career opportunities – this will depend on the contribution level – see table below.

Judging of the challenge will occur on Monday during lunch along with student presentations. Announcement of the challenge winners will be either after the keynote or during the Business lunch meeting with the first-place winning team presenting in front of the society. 

Throughout the challenge the students will be mentored by ASPE member volunteers and sponsoring representatives. 

To make this challenge happen we are asking for your financial support. These funds will go towards the challenge hardware, developmental work, supplies for the challenge, meals, drinks, and towards the grand prize. ASPE will provide plaques of appreciation for Gold and Silver sponsors.


Levels of support

 DonationCompany logo on all documents and presentations.Access students during the challengeOpportunity to introduce the Company during Sunday’s lunchGiven award in front of Society after keynote presentationSocial media
Bronze$1K+XX  All levels can access student profiles.
Silver$2K+XX5 minutes Company description, 200 words, SC email list,
Gold$4K+XX10 minutesXCompany description, SC email list, 3 company links, embedded link, link to job seeking participants
Platinum$5K+  Or > 3years at gold levelXX10 minutesXCompany description, SC email list, 3 company links, embedded link, link to job seeking participants.

Additional Note

Donations of hardware will be recognized at the market value of the equipment and donors will be awarded the recognized at the corresponding monetized level.

If you have any questions or would like to pledge your support please email Luis Aguirre at laaguirre2@mmm.com (or call 512-659-6600).

Thank you, we look forward to another successful meeting.

ASPE Student Challenge Organizing Committee
Student Challenge Chairperson
Luis A. Aguirre, 3M Company

Additional Digital Marketing Features

Options available to sponsors are listed below with availability detailed in Table 1 above. These will only be implemented with the agreement and collaboration of the sponsors. The categories of these options are:

  • URL
  • Image / Logo
  • Order:
  • Description:
  • Description Features:
  • Social Media Profiles:
  • Social Media Publicity:
  • Email:
2020 Student Challenge Recognition

2020 ASPE Student Challenge

The ASPE Student Challenge is an annual precision engineering student competition inviting students from engineering and technical disciplines to participate in designing & building a precision mechanical system and showcase their precision engineering efforts/skills during the competition at the conference. The challenge typically tests the student teams on various aspects of precision engineering including precision machine element design, mechatronics, controls, metrology and optics & provides the students, a glimpse into the design & development of a precision system. The goal of the 2020 Student challenge is to build a scribe tool controller that can be integrated with an XY scanning platform to produce a mechanical ruling system. Each team will be required to design, prototype, and characterize performance of the scribe tool controller This revised goal has become necessary to fit into the virtual conference format due to the corona virus pandemic. The parts will be sent to the professor to distribute as desired. In the case the school lab is closed, students could divide and work on completing the assembly and testing at home.This replaces the original goal that was to generate a grating pattern with 50 lines per millimeter over a minimum 5 mm x 3 mm substrate area (a total of 150 to 250 lines) using the scribe tool controller mounted into the XY stage at the conference. This will be deferred until the next, in-person, annual meeting, hopefully in 2021.Hardware used for the construction and testing of the probe can only be constructed from the resources supplied to each team. A list of all resources provided to each team is provided in the Detailed Description & BOM.Grading[2] for the challenge will be based on 1) design novelty (typically fewer mechanical elements, small footprint are desired) of the instrument (100 pts), 2) a comprehensive uncertainty budget (200 pts), 3) a design presentation (100 pts), and 4) a presentation with accompanying video (limited to less than 15 minutes) during the conference (600 pts). The goals of mechanical testing are to determine the performance of the scribe probe under closed loop control.