Mechanical engineering students pitch, place and take home awards

L-R: Conner Knepley, Ramin Mirshab, and Jorge Diaz-Sanin

Teams from the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences swept the awards at the WMU Business Pitch Competition with products ranging from a heat-to-cool mattress pad that combats insomnia to a rotating drying rack that serves as an indoor alternative to hanging laundry outside.

First- and second-place awards went to teams from WMU’s industrial and entrepreneurial departments. The teams that pitched their idea are part of Dr. Bob White’s Entrepreneurial Engineering course, IEE 2010. Third and fourth place awards -- as well as the People’s Choice award -- went to students from WMU’s mechanical and aerospace engineering program.

The WMU Business Pitch Competition is named in memory of Dr. K.C. O'Shaughnessy, a professor of management in the Haworth College of Business and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, who passed away in 2011. The work he started in the area of entrepreneurship led to the creation of events like the pitch competition, a major and minor in entrepreneurship, and the formation of WMU’s business accelerator, Starting Gate. His legacy lives on in the students who now benefit from these programs.

1st Place ($2,000)

Just Right Temp - Victoria Blaine, Morgan Kronner, Sarah Jozwiak, Aseel Munshi, industrial and entrepreneurial engineering


2nd Place($1,400)

The Rotating Drying Rack - Emma Dubensky, Cortney York, Jasmine Fails, Michael Leonard, industrial and entrepreneurial engineering 


3rd Place ($800)

SmartShot - Conner Knepley, Jorge Diaz-Sanin, mechanical and aerospace engineering


4th Place ($500)

Multi Use Recyclable Arcade - Ramin Mirshab – mechanical and aerospace engineering


People's Choice ($300)

Smart Shot - SmartShot - Conner Knepley, Jorge Diaz-Sanin, mechanical and aerospace engineering