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Engineering students win 2nd straight Stryker Challenge

by Mark Schwerin

Nov. 18, 2011 | WMU News

Photo of WMU Stryker Engineering Challenge team.
WMU's winning team: Jolica Dias, Ben VanDyken, Ria Periera and Avin Castelino.
KALAMAZOO--Make it two in a row.

A team of Western Michigan University engineering students has won first place in the second Stryker Engineering Challenge, topping students from the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Notre Dame University and Purdue University. It marked the second straight time WMU students have won the competition.

Members of WMU's team and their majors are Avin Castelino, mechanical engineering; Jolica Dias, electrical engineering; Ria Periera, electrical engineering; and Benjamin VanDyken, mechanical engineering. Each student received an Apple iPad2 and an internship interview with Stryker. Team coordinators were Drs. Damon Miller, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Fred Sitkins, professor of industrial and manufacturing engineering.

Students build "contraptions" to deliver different sized balls to scoring positions in a timed competition. The competition rules were explained at a Thursday evening meeting. Student teams then worked non-stop to complete their designs for the competition held the next afternoon.

Photo of WMU Stryker Engineering Challenge team.
WMU's design was cited as being a particularly elegant solution.
Teams were provided with identical raw materials to build their machines. Each team completed the same five courses to test the ingenuity of their creations. The WMU design featured an arm that could be lowered, raised and extended via electric motors. A bucket at the end of the arm, also under motor control, could be tipped to deliver the balls to a target location. The design was cited by Stryker employees as being a particularly elegant solution. They also noted the excellent teamwork of the WMU students.

A different student team from WMU won the inaugural competition against the same schools earlier this year. That makes WMU's record 2-0 in the event.

Stryker sponsors the competition, held Nov. 11 this year, as part of its efforts to strengthen ties with schools from which they recruit engineering talent.

Related article
Engineering team wins inaugural Stryker Challenge | April 21, 2011