Carnegie Mellon University

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February 17, 2014


Festival Provides Students Creative Outlet

By Chriss Swaney

Build18Engineering students provided creative solutions to everyday issues during their sixth annual Build 18 engineering fair.

"Build18 is a great and unique opportunity to complement our studies with the application of real-life skills. That includes what we learn in electrical and computer engineering (ECE) to create a cool product in a short time, within a budget in a team environment ... with the equipment available," said Michael Ryan, an ECE senior and Build18 leader.

This year, some ideas showcased included a mail-delivery blimp, an electronic tug-of-war game and a TV screen that duplicates a Formula One racetrack.

"There is simply no limit to what the students develop over this fast and furious week of imagination and creativity," said Pronoy Biswas, an ECE senior and event co-director.

The festival evolved out of ECE students' desires to expand classroom concepts into a fast-paced, abbreviated challenge to create innovative products under strict deadlines and limited funding, as is the case for most entrepreneurial startups.

"We wanted to get out of our comfort zones and really see what it's like to compete in the marketplace," Ryan said.

Susan Farrington, head of ECE alumni and employer relations and a founding Build18 adviser, praised the students for their organizational skills and enthusiasm.

"Our students have very demanding schedules and for them to take time to develop the Build18 concept and orchestrate this event annually is both amazing and a testament to the quality of our engineering programs and this university," she said.