Design the Next Great Thing
Student Competition Profile: Mouser Electronics’ Create the Future Contest
Education and Training News
November 15, 2022
For several years, Mouser Electronics has co-sponsored the Create the Future Design Contest alongside Intel and Analog Devices. The contest is produced by Tech Briefs Media Group, part of the SAE Media Group. COMSOL is also a principal sponsor of the contest.
Coby Kleinjan is Mouser Electronics’ vice president of Americas Sales and Service and a spokesperson for the event. We spoke to Coby to understand the event. Here’s how our conversation went:
Digital Engineering: What is the Create the Future Design Contest?
Coby Kleinjan: The annual contest is a global challenge to engineers and innovators to design the next great thing. The grand prize winner receives worldwide recognition and a cash prize of $25,000 for an innovative product that benefits society and the economy. Entries are accepted every year from March 1 until July 1, then the contest closes for official judging. Winners are then announced in October with an awards celebration following in November. About one-third of the entries are typically students.
DE: How did the competition come to be?
Kleinjan: The Create the Future Design Contest was started in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The goal is to bring attention to product designs that enhance humanity, improve quality of healthcare or help to provide sustainable solutions.
DE: What kinds of designs are expected?
Kleinjan: Former grand prize-winning entries include an economical rapid screening device to prevent foodborne illness and a wheelchair propulsion system designed to increase the user’s mobility while decreasing upper body repetitive strain injuries.
The grand prize winner is selected from the winners in seven entry categories: Aerospace and Defense, Automotive/Transportation, Consumer Product Design, Electronics/Sensors/, Manufacturing/Automation/Robotics, Medical, and Sustainable Technologies/Future Energy.
Last year’s grand prize went to Aaron Hall, Chris DelRe, Ivan Jayapurna and Ting Xu Intropic Materials of Oakland, CA, for developing plastics embedded with enzymes that speed up the biodegradation process. The enzyme-embedded plastics self-destruct, completely degrading and eliminating microplastics in days—not months or years.
DE: How many participants have there been in the past? How many are expected this year?
Kleinjan: The contests have produced more than 15,000 design ideas from students, engineers, innovators and entrepreneurs in more than 100 countries. Even more entries are expected this year. About one-third of the participants are students from universities across the globe.
DE: What drives companies like Mouser to sponsor the event and coordinate it?
Kleinjan: Mouser Electronics is a very forward-thinking company committed to encouraging innovation and furthering engineering principles. There also is an element of sustainability and finding eco-friendly solutions that ultimately will help humanity. We are excited to be able to support initiatives like this one that spotlight the importance of engineering.
About the Author:
Coby Kleinjan is Mouser Electronics’ vice president of Americas Sales and Service.
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About the Author
Jim Romeo is a freelance writer based in Chesapeake, VA. Send e-mail about this article to DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.Follow DE