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Engineering team wins inaugural Stryker Challenge

by Cheryl Roland

April 21, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU's test vehicle in 2011 Stryker Challenge.
WMU's test vehicle, Stryker Challenge
KALAMAZOO--A team of Western Michigan University students provided a clear and resounding answer last month when Kalamazoo's Stryker Corp. decided to find out which of several high-profile Midwest engineering schools would be the best place to recruit new talent.

WMU's four-person team of electrical and mechanical engineering students walked away with the top spot in the first Stryker Challenge, a seven-hour competitive event held in March at Stryker Medical. The event was designed to help the company determine its best recruiting locations. The WMU engineers beat teams from the University of Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame and Purdue to capture the event's top prize.

Each team competing had approximately seven hours to design and test a vehicle that had to pick up a Stryker product and carry it through a choice of courses in the shortest time. The WMU students designed several electro-mechanical components to their vehicle that helped them complete their course in just 31 seconds. Each team member won an iPad2 and an interview with Stryker Medical.

"Western has a reputation for not only learning theory, but also being able to apply it," says Fred Sitkins, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering and the team's organizer. "Our team performed flawlessly, and since this will be an annual event, we're excited about participating in next year's challenge to defend the WMU title."

Winning Stryker Challenge Team

Photo of WMU students Colin Haire, Wei Chiu, Luke Burley and Kevin Thompson.
Haire, Chiu, Burley and Thompson

Team advisor was Dr. Damon Miller, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. Members of the winning WMU team are:

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