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Contact: Chriss Swaney,

For immediate release:
June 19, 2002

Carnegie Mellon Engineering Students Win Disney Trip for Design Excellence

PITTSBURGH—Four Carnegie Mellon University Mechanical Engineering students are semi-finalists in a nationwide competition to design a better cell phone.

Carnegie Mellon's Punit Ahluwalia, Mary Berna, Susan Eitelman and Hans Mueller won a trip to Walt Disney World's EPCOT Center where they will be rewarded June 21 for having the most "creative design."

"We are so excited about our victory," said Eitelman, a 2002 graduate working as a cognitive engineer at Chi Systems in Ovieda, Fla.. "I just have a 15 minute-drive to the awards ceremony," she said. Each student receives a $500 gift certificate, an innovative communication device and student editions of new engineering software.

Eitelman was a team leader in a project that tested both skill and patience as students were asked to design a cell phone that is more durable and comfortable to use. The team designed a special hinge that allows the cell phone user a full 180-degree opening range - a range that would make phones more compact and durable, according to the competition judges who came from various industry sectors.

Carnegie Mellon's Daniel P. Siewiorek, the Buhl University Professor of Computer Science and Computer Engineering and John W. Wesner, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, were student advisers.

Software engineering company PTC of Needham, Mass. and Motorola Corp. of Schaumburg, Ill., sponsored the competition. The three other team semi-finalists came from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Monroe County Community College.


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