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MFG Advocate: Are You Up for the Challenge?

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By: Penny Brown, MTAdvocacy Manager, AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology

Folks, this month I come to you with a favor to ask.

Do you have any apprentices or interns working for you this summer? Do you know any tech-minded college students who are looking for a challenge? What about students with an interest in engineering and/or the Industrial Internet? Or college faculty who focus on those topics?

Here’s the favor: If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, be sure to tell them about the MTConnect Student Challenge.

The current iteration of the MTConnect Challenge seeks ideas and applications for utilizing MTConnect. There are cash prizes on the table again (up to $10,000 for the winning application submission), but there are many benefits to participation beyond money. It can make an excellent thesis, internship or capstone project. It’s also a great way for students to network with companies, a possible path to employment.

The challenge is open to any enrolled college student – community college or university, undergraduate or graduate. It may be of particular interest to students who are studying manufacturing-related fields; mechanical, industrial, electrical or software engineering; industrial design; and IT.

For faculty, it can make a great addition to the curriculum. It can give students a hands-on experience that gets them thinking about real-world challenges in manufacturing. And of course, for companies like yours, it can lead to the development of solutions for your business, leading to increased productivity and innovation.

There are two competitions within the MTConnect Student Challenge: Idea Creation and Applications. For the Idea Creation competition, students will be required to interview manufacturers to identify their needs related to manufacturing intelligence, and submit a report on an idea for an application utilizing MTConnect that could address that need. The deadline for submission is Sept. 18, 2015. Complete details and rules are available at challenge.gov/challenge/mtconnectstudentideas.

For the application competition, students are required to develop and submit an application that utilizes MTConnect. It can be an independent application, or an extension of a pre-existing application. Submissions require a written summary of the application describing its benefits, a video of the application in action and an image representing the application. The submission deadline is Jan. 31, 2016, and full details are available at challenge.gov/challenge/mtconnectstudentapps.

The submission period for both competitions opens on June 11. This is a great opportunity to get some young minds engaged in manufacturing in ways they might not have considered before. Are you up for the challenge? Spread the word!

Contact me at pbrown@AMTonline.org. AMT is on Twitter — @AMTonline — and you can find us at Facebook.com/amtnews.

For more from the MFGAdvocate, visit their blog.

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