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Innovating their way to success

K. Sarumathi
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Winners of DesignAce contest with the jury and the chief guests.
Winners of DesignAce contest with the jury and the chief guests.

K. Sarumathi

Innovation — which filed can survive without it? In today’s highly competitive world, innovation has become a way of life; it is about testing every idea for failure and success. To drive home the importance of innovative and creative thinking, Barry-Wehmiller International Resources, in collaboration with Solid Works Inc., conducted the fourth edition of Design-Ace contest, an annual engineering competition, in Chennai. The contest motivates students to put into practice their knowledge towards practical business problems.

The two-month long event saw participation from over 600 engineering students from colleges across South India, including Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.

They presented their design concepts using SolidWorks CAD model. Green Sustainability was the theme given to the students. While submitting innovative, sustainable and ecological designs, they also presented solutions to real time engineering problems. A panel of three judges, comprising D.S. Janardhanan, Vice-president- Product Engineering, Rane TRW Steering System Ltd; Dr. P.V. Mohanram, HOD Mechanical Engineering, PSG College of Technology, Coimbatore; and Jeremy Harrington, Director, Worldwide Education Sales-Dassault Systems, narrowed it from over 300 entries to 10 finalists.

The grand finale of the competition was held on September 22 and three teams were adjudged winners. The chief guest for the occasion was K. Rajaraman, Managing Director, Chennai Metro Rail Limited (CMRL).

Stating that innovation is a core function in business, as a company’s survival depends on it, he said, DesignAce is a platform which gives a proper form for ideas. “Ideation is the first step of innovation and it is important to put them to test. DesignAce provides students the necessary environment where they can test their ideas for failure and success. But being creative is not enough. All creative ideas should be grounded in reality and should be practical and implementable.”

Lauding the finalists for their efforts, he said, “The winners have been selected on the basis of not just the project they have chosen but also on criteria such as collecting customer feedbacks, fabrication of a prototype and supplementing the projects with animations and presentations.

The third prize went to Angel College of Engineering and Technology, Tirupur. The project of the team, comprising Prasanth and Sathish, was on sunflower harvester. The second prize went to Vinoth Kumar and Vignesh of Sona College of Technology, Salem. Their project was on Masato, Gravity Induced Revolution. The first prize was bagged by Jogeshwar Das and Goutham of Sona College of Technology, Salem, for their Steering Effort Compensator. It was unanimously chosen as the best project.

Along with cash awards, the three winners will also get paid internships. The 10 finalists will get three years of SolidWorks licence.

Earlier in the day, the finalists underwent a workshop titled, ‘Transform your imagination to reality with SolidWorks’ conducted by SIMTEK. Many students also took part in a model mania contest.

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