SMU Lyle Engineering Announces Innovation Competition

Student teams encouraged to find path-breaking solutions to real world problems

The SMU Lyle School of Engineering is demonstrating its commitment to innovation by establishing an annual Design Competition to bring together the thinkers, mentors, facilities, and processes necessary for dynamic innovation needed to solve humanity’s problems.

This competition, generously funded by Dallas-based Carr LLP, will be hosted by the Caruth Institute of Engineering Education’s Innovation Gymnasium. The Innovation Gym is also home to the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works Lab at the SMU Lyle School of Engineering.

The team competition in innovation will task students with solving the problems that challenge humanity – hunger, poverty, climate change, disaster preparedness – while at the same time encouraging undergraduate participation in the growth of the Caruth Institute’s Innovation Gymnasium.

“Good ideas come from everywhere. Each of us has unique experiences and perspectives on the world. These perspectives, more than technical understanding, can often provide the inspiration for ideas that change the world,” says Dr. Nathan Huntoon, the Director of the Innovation Competition. “With this competition we are hoping to solicit the good ideas from all our students, and then partner them with people who can help turn that idea into reality.”

This annual competition, initially open to students from all fields of study at SMU, has future plans involve students at other colleges and universities.

The deadline for written proposals is April 5th. The teams with the top 5 written proposals will be asked to make oral presentations on April 30th after which two finalists will be announced.

The top two proposals will receive $2,000 each to build a prototype. Engineering students will join each of the two competing teams and will work throughout the summer to build a prototype in the Innovation Gymnasium.

At the end of the summer, a panel of industry and academic judges will evaluate the final prototypes and award the winning team a $1,000 cash prize.

“The Lyle School challenges its students to explore practical innovation, or what we call applied creativity,” says Dean Geoffrey C. Orsak. “To teach innovation, we must be innovative ourselves, and strive to provide rich, challenging, and interactive experiences that stretch the boundaries of traditional education.”

Visit http://lyle.smu.edu/innovationcompetition for more details.

About the SMU Lyle School of Engineering


The SMU Lyle School of Engineering is committed to developing the new American engineer, one prepared to excel and lead in creating new economic opportunities while meeting the most difficult challenges facing society. The Lyle School maintains a steadfast focus on using engineering to address important issues both at home and around the world.

Founded in 1925, the Lyle School is one of the oldest engineering schools in the Southwest. The school offers eight undergraduate and 29 graduate programs, including both masters and doctorate levels.

About the Caruth Institute of Engineering Education


The mission of the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education is to encourage more young people to consider engineering and science careers. The Caruth Institute is focused on programs with a national impact that affect young people in K-16, such as Kids Ahead, The Infinity Project, Visioneering, the Gender Parity Initiative, and The Lyle Engineering Summer Camps for Girls. The Caruth Institute is also the home for the SMU Skunk Works Program which is designed to incorporate the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works design philosophy throughout the undergraduate program in order to teach our students to be more innovative.