Published: April 3, 2019

MSU to host three-day engineering festival

Contact(s): Patricia Mroczek College of Engineering office: (517) 432-1303

Engineering students at Michigan State University are collaborating with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, or ASME, to host a weekend of events and activities from April 5-7 in East Lansing.

The festival, E-Fest North, will give students the opportunity to showcase their technical skills and creativity, as well as connect with leaders and practicing engineers for career advice. About 1,000 participants are expected to attend, including engineering students from MSU and more than 75 other colleges and universities in five countries.

Matthew Belknap, a senior in mechanical engineering and chair of ASME's event, stressed the importance of not only the festival’s East Lansing location, but its year-long duration in planning.
“ASME International picked that location because it was kind of centrally located in the Midwest region, and there's a lot of really good schools around here," Belknap said.

E-Fest includes four competitions that give students a chance to apply their engineering education:

  • Human Powered Vehicle Challenge – Now filled with 50 teams from 47 colleges and universities, students will design and build sustainable and practical transportation alternatives for everyday use – from commuting to work, to carrying goods to market.
  • Student Design Competition – More than 40 student teams will design prototypes, typically involving robotics, and engage them in battle.
  • Innovative Additive Manufacturing 3D (IAM3D) Challenge – The 2019 ASME IAM3D Hovercraft Competition tasks students to create an unmanned emergency resupply vehicle that can traverse many mediums to deliver lifesaving aid to those in need.
  • Old Guard Oral Presentation and Technical Poster Competition

John Thornton, chief executive officer of Astrobotic, will deliver the keynote address at lunch on Saturday, April 6. Thornton will discuss “laying the groundwork for mankind's next giant leap in space exploration.”

The weekend program also includes a variety of interactive workshops and sessions, fun social events and entertainment. Some highlights include a session on the engineering thrill of roller coaster dynamics with Jeff Rhoads, a professor at Purdue University; a session on engineering for social innovation, led by Jesse Austin-Brenemen, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at University of Michigan, and Caroline Soyars, program manager of the Global Health Design Initiative at University of Michigan.

“The atmosphere at E-Fest is filled with so much creative energy from the students,” ASME President Said Jahanmir said. “ASME is proud to help provide these opportunities for applied learning, innovation, professional growth and leadership training for future engineers.”