Two new student organizations at West Virginia University awarded prizes during the first-ever Mountaineer Maker’s Challenge on Friday, April 22.

The competition, sponsored by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and student organizations Material Advantage and Materials Research Society, challenged students to create and print a unique 3D design that could be judged in one of four categories: best artistic design, best West Virginia pride, best mechanized design and open design.

The challenge of designing and printing a unique design wasn’t just for fun. According to Edward Sabolsky, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, the competition was created to bring visibility to the new materials science and engineering program in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources.

“Materials science and engineering involves the discovery and design of new materials, so maker’s challenges are often used to spark interest in the field,” said Sabolsky. “Because it’s a new program at WVU and is currently only offered at the masters and doctoral level, we thought a maker’s challenge would be a good way to introduce the program to our current undergraduate students.”

In total, 19 entries were received and voting was open to students, faculty and staff. Prizes were awarded in the following categories:

Best Artistic Design: first place – Bryan Jackson, mechanical engineering; second place – Brandon Schnur, ceramics third place – Ken Lu Yong Jion, ceramics

Best Mechanized Design: first place – Chris Guffey, ceramics, and Ken Lu Yong Jion

Best Mountaineer Pride: first place – Nathan Owen, general engineering; second place – Lee Chirpas, mechanical engineering; third place – Brandon Schnur

Open: first place – Andrew Kellner, ceramics; second place – Ken Lu Yong Jion; third place – George Cho, ceramics

The Statler College Dean’s Office and Office of Outreach and Recruitment also played a vital role in advertising the competition and providing prizes for the winners. Sabolsky and the student organizations involved have big plans for next year’s Mountaineer Maker’s Challenge, which they plan to host during the Statler College’s Engineers Week celebration in February.

“Our vision is to involve K-12 students and students from majors throughout WVU to interact, design and create,” said Sabolsky. “We want to use the Mountaineer Maker’s Challenge as a tool to celebrate engineering throughout West Virginia.”



CONTACT: Mary C. Dillon, Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

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