Armour College of Engineering Students Create Videos for National Academy of Engineering Competition

Four student teams from Armour College of Engineering (ACE) have been hard at work preparing their entries for the NAE E4U Video Contest. The teams were comprised of students who participate in the ACE Student-led projects program. For their videos, teams sought to answer the question “how engineering creations serve the welfare of humanity and the needs of society.”

The competition was sponsored by the National Academy of Engineers (NAE), a private, independent, nonprofit institution with a mission to advance the well being of the nation by promoting a vibrant engineering profession and by marshaling the expertise and insights of eminent engineers to provide independent advice to the federal government on matters involving engineering and technology. The winner of the contest will be awarded $25,000 with a $5,000 prize going to the People’s Choice Award that will be voted on by the public beginning June 1, 2014.

There is a strong connection between IIT and the NAE. The election of IIT Provost Alan Cramb this year increased the number of IIT faculty and alumni who are members of the NAE to 42. IIT will also welcome NAE president C. D. Mote, Jr. to campus to speak at the commencement ceremony which takes place on Saturday, May 17, 2014.

The student teams were advised by Armour College as part of the Armour Distinctive Education Student-led projects program. Created in 2011, the Student-led projects program empowers students to take action and expand their education by participating in activities that enhance their education at Armour. Students consult with a faculty advisor on the projects and have defined goals to ensure that they will receive a quality learning experience.

For the NAE E4U video competition, Armour College students were given free rein to come up with a concept for a one to two minute video. As per the contest guidelines, the video needed to portray what engineering contributions the students felt best served human welfare and the needs of society. The teams conceived several video ideas that they then presented to the ACE Distinctive Education Faculty Council, a group of faculty members that oversee Distinctive Education. The Faculty Council offered their advice and opinions to the students. With the Council’s input in mind, the groups then narrowed down their concepts and began the process of filming. If needed, students were allowed to borrow video equipment provided by Armour College to create the videos. The student teams coordinated the entire production of the videos themselves.

After weeks of hard work, each team presented the final versions of their videos to the ACE Distinctive Education Faculty Council one last time before uploading them for the contest. Each of the four teams did a phenomenal job creating unique videos that capture how engineering serves the welfare of humanity and the needs of society. For the students, making the video was a nice creative break from the everyday routine of an engineering student. The winners of the contest will be announced by September 1, 2014. Make sure to click the links below to watch each team’s video.

Team: Christopher Alexander (CAEE ‘17) and Nina Townley (CAEE ‘16)
Alexander and Townley decided to highlight how developments in engineering have made the work the IIT Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB) possible. Without advancements in modern technology, EWB might not be able to develop a water supply system in remote village in Haiti or build bridges in Nicaragua.
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Team: Chris Sanders (ECE ‘17) and Abram Diaz (ChBE ‘16)
For their video, Sanders and Diaz showed how technologies on IIT’s campus such as the wind turbine and solar-powered electric-car charging stations create solutions to problems while reducing harm to the environment. They also portrayed how research going on at IIT, like the biomass reactor and quadrotor robot will help solve the problems society will face in the future.
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Team: Austin Gonzalez (MMAE ‘17) and Kyle Stanevich (MMAE ‘17)
Gonzalez and Stanevich created a fun video that depicts an engineering student walking around Chicago while highlighting innovative technologies we take for granted in our daily lives. The team created a parody song to tell the video’s narrative.
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Team: Jennifer Bennett (MMAE ‘14) and Heather Bennett (ECE ‘16)
Sisters Jennifer and Heather chose to explain how the engineering process has led to many innovations. To them, the greatest contribution to engineering is the mindset of the engineer. Engineers endlessly work together to creatively solve the problems that face the world.
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