Carnegie Mellon University

Image of an augmented reality Yu-Gi-Oh game

January 23, 2018

Creativity, Curiosity and Engineering Intersect at Build18

By Krista Burns

Krista Burns
  • College of Engineering
  • 412-268-5316

Build18 provides Carnegie Mellon University students with a risk-free environment to pursue personal engineering challenges, limited only by their ingenuity. Originally named after the Electrical and Computer Engineering course prefix, Build18 signifies the start of the spring semester and a chance for students to build for fun.

Some of this year's creations included a motion controlled drone, a virtual quidditch, a wireless phone charger and a smart mirror.

"Build18 is where creativity, curiosity and engineering intersect," said Cyrus Tabrizi, a Build18 co-chair. "It's a chance for every innovator at Carnegie Mellon — every student and faculty member with a passion for invention — to make and break things together in pursuit of new ideas. It is exciting to see what everyone comes up with every year."

Build18 activities and events are funded each year by alumni and corporate sponsors. The festival typically has well-known technology company sponsors, many of whom attend some or all of the Build Week activities. In addition to supporting the festival, some sponsors host Innovation Tech Talks exclusively for Carnegie Mellon students. These seminars allow builders the opportunity to learn how their projects may be adapted in the real world.

The festival started nine years ago out of ECE students' interest to spend time on their own projects for the joy of tinkering, rather than for a grade. Teams are made up of students from school and colleges across Carnegie Mellon.

The intense week of building culminates with Demonstration Day, when teams showcase projects to the public. Visitors can interact with projects, ask questions and enjoy the innovative spirit of the festival.

Immediately following the demonstrations, Build18 concludes with a banquet for builders, sponsors and faculty members to celebrate the achievements from the past week. In an effort to maintain the creative spirit of the event, recent Build18 alumni hold panel discussions focusing on the importance of creativity in the workplace.

Build18 2018