Student finalist in international innovation challenge


Nicolas Theoret

Nicolas Theoret

What features will the car of 2030 have? What will it look like? How will it perform?

WMU mechanical engineering student Nicolas Theoret, a senior from Montreal, Canada, answered those questions and submitted an essay describing his idea, along with additional supporting material, to bring his idea to life.

It was part of Magna’s Student Innovation Challenge, which involves identifying and exploring opportunities to radically improve personal mobility and transportation. Magna International, one of the world’s largest automotive suppliers, challenges college students to imagine what their lives may be like 15 years from now and to develop an idea for a new feature or capability for a car in the year 2030.

Theoret’s essay earned him an invitation to attend the prestigious Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. He was one of nine finalists from the U.S., Canada and Mexico invited as Magna’s guests to compete in the three-day innovation challenge.

He was teamed up with two students from other schools for three grueling days of work to come up with a business plan for their design of an interactive windshield interface. The design then was presented to a panel of judges.

Theoret’s team took second place.

“The entire experience was truly inspiring. There is no better place than the Consumer’s Electronics Show to witness the forefront of technological advancement,” Theoret said. “It was exciting to present ideas to help shape the car of the future.” He encourages more WMU students to apply for the 2017 student competition.  He said he enjoyed the chance to network with industry leaders, hear from Magna’s R & D team, and experience the largest consumer electronics show in the world.