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Registration Open for Unique Student Competition Aimed at Solving Societal Challenges

Registration Open for Unique Student Competition Aimed at Solving Societal Challenges

November 1, 2019

At its core, engineering is about people. It’s aimed at finding solutions to make life better for humanity.

The Engineering Innovation for Society (EIS) student design competition at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute aspires to enable that type of novel innovation by inviting undergraduate students from colleges and universities across the Northeast to the Troy campus for a “hackathon” of sorts focused on engineering design and development.

Over the course of three days, students are assigned a team and given a challenge they must design and develop a prototype to solve. For example, teams have developed a hypertonic grip expander for people with cerebral palsy, a chair for students with autism, and a lifting device for quadriplegic individuals.

In the past, students have traveled from MIT, Columbia, George Washington University, Yale, Parsons School of Design, University of Buffalo, United States Military Academy, and the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, among others.

“We have long been recognized as a leader in design, producing the very best engineers for the current workplace,” said John Tichy, a professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering at Rensselaer, who led the EIS organizing committee. “Now we are trying to collaborate with students at the best universities to address grand societal challenges.”

The small and concentrated, yet competitive nature of this event will give participants on each of the eight teams the opportunity to receive plenty of feedback from the judges. The odds of walking away with a prize are also good, as winning teams receive monetary awards ranging from $2,000 for the third place team to $10,000 for the first place team.

Registration is open from November 1 until December 2 and travel assistance of $100 is available to students wishing to compete.


Reeve Hamilton
Director of Media Relations and Communications

(518) 833-4277

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About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1824, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is America’s first technological research university. Rensselaer encompasses five schools, 32 research centers, more than 145 academic programs, and a dynamic community made up of more than 7,900 students and more than 100,000 living alumni. Rensselaer faculty and alumni include more than 145 National Academy members, six members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, six National Medal of Technology winners, five National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With nearly 200 years of experience advancing scientific and technological knowledge, Rensselaer remains focused on addressing global challenges with a spirit of ingenuity and collaboration.