Educational outreach is important to Marcus Engineering. As part of these efforts we often sponsor and mentor engineering design teams at the University of Arizona. Bright students with some veteran engineering direction produces magnificent commercializable products like the Robotic Fish.
The University of Arizona held their Engineering Design Day on Tuesday, 30 April, 2013 at the Marriott University Park. Engineering Design Day is a showcase of engineering design projects that students have worked on in cross-disciplinary teams to solve industry-sponsored, real-world design problems using the design process. Students get the experience of working in teams, putting together design process, concepts and proposals and on design day, the soon-to-be engineers proudly display their work. This year students K-12, senior citizens, UA students, faculty, parents and of course, the project judges attended Design Day.
The projects ranged from a robotic fish, underwater vehicles, medical imaging devices, jet-powered cars, rockets, renewable energy and much more. The projects are sponsored and funded by faculty and industry partners such as Boeing, Ventana Medical Systems, Northrop-Grumman, Raytheon, Texas Instruments, Edmund Optics and Honeywell.
The companies also sponsor prizes and provide some of the many professional engineers who serve as judges. The judges selected projects that were worthy of the $12,000 in prize money. Among the judges, was Dr. Patrick Marcus. The judging process was a lengthy 8am-5pm ordeal. The judges meticulously evaluated the projects. The projects were divided among the judges and the judges were asked to opt out of judging a project if they had a bias towards the project in any way.
This year, the Best Overall Design award went to the Robotic Fish project, sponsored by MediaMation, a creator of 4D entertainment systems. The team also received the Blunder Education prize. Robbie Laity, the team leader and employee at Marcus Engineering, commented “We can make the biggest mistake, but come back and win the Best Overall Design award”. The point he made was ironic, yet is the reality of engineering. The Arizona Daily Star recognized the team in an article that can be read here.
Dr. Patrick Marcus was a mentor to the six outstanding students on this team. Dr. Marcus says, “I love working with the students. It’s amazing to see how clever and capable they are. Once they are on the right track they run, and succeed! It isn’t all altruism though. Mentoring is the only way to identify and recruit the best talent. The best engineers get snatched up quickly and we are getting first pick”. Moments after the announcement of the Robotic Fish success, Dr. Marcus rushed over to the rooftop of Playground to be recognized as one of Tucson’s Up & Comer. An Up&Comer is recognized for their contribution to the Tucson community. At the reception. Dr. Marcus was surrounded by more than 30 guests who came out to congratulate him on his recognition. Many of the guests present were also University of Arizona Engineering affiliates who rushed from Design Day to celebrate and congratulate Dr. Marcus on his contributions.