Carnegie Mellon University
January 13, 2015

Carnegie Mellon University's Electrical and Computer Engineering Students Host Seventh Annual Freestyle Tinkering Festival

By Krista Burns / 412-268-5316                                                             
Build 18Seven years ago, members of Carnegie Mellon University's Electrical and Computer Engineering's Student Advisory Committee were asked what would improve their experience at Carnegie Mellon. If they lacked anything, it was the ability to work with teams and ideas of their choosing purely for the joy of tinkering, not for a grade.

Build18 serves as an intellectual playground for the brightest and most creative of Carnegie Mellon's engineers. Over 200 Carnegie Mellon engineering students will showcase their freestyle tinkering projects from 2 to 5 p.m.,  Friday, Jan. 16 in the Cohon University Center's Wiegand Gym.

"Build 18 was created with the sole purpose of giving engineers an opportunity to exercise their creativity in engineering. We welcome big ideas and trying new things, whether they work out or not, because they are an excellent way to learn something new," said Aaron Reyes, Build18 chair and an ECE senior from Austin, Texas. "Build18 is even recommended by faculty."

Build18 activities and events are funded each year by alumni and corporate sponsors. This year, the festival has 23 technology company sponsors, many of which will attend some or all of the Build Week activities. In addition to supporting the festival, some sponsoring companies will be hosting Innovation Tech Talks exclusively for CMU students, including, Stern, Kessler, Goldstein & Fox, Alphalabs and Amazon. These seminars allow builders the opportunity to learn how their projects may be adapted into the real world.

Build18 is a natural and exciting outgrowth of Carnegie Mellon's strengths: problem-solving, collaboration and teamwork, and a roll-up-your-sleeves work ethic.

"Simply put, Build18 serves as an engineer's playground for students who love the art of engineering," Reyes says. "With $250 to spend on any idea you want to create, it's hard to find a reason not to participate."

For more information about this event, see