The Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering invites student submissions for its exciting and highly competitive, November 14, 2013 inaugural event, Research Improv.

This year's challenge, open to undergraduates and graduates, will be chaired by Dr. Yildirim Hurmuzlu, professor of Mechanical Engineering and founder of the SMU systems laboratory.

Dr. Hurmuzlu’s research philosophy involves three steps to problem solving: first, formulate a quantitative statement for the problem you are facing; second, solve it using the engineering tools available to you; and third, translate your results into qualitative statements that everyone can understand. 

Interlinking these processes scientifically, Research Improv challenges contestants to their engage their thoughts, formulate solutions, and narrate their findings as this competition unfolds throughout the day. 

Whether testing notional ideas or expanding sound applications, prove to others how you can shape the world or change the direction of your discipline.

Enter the competition or join us as guests.

At SMU Lyle, participating is everything!

Placing first, even more….. 


Research Improv


Electronic Poster

Lab Exposition

Innovation Gym Showcase


Lyle School of Engineering Quad


9:00 am – 6:30 pm


Graduate and undergraduate students are encouraged to enter one or more competition categories related to the event theme, either individually or as teams.  All selected entries will be a part of presentations scheduled throughout the Lyle School of Engineering quad on Thursday, November 14, 2013. 


Lyle undergraduate students, led by student event chairs from each of Lyle’s five departments, will cast their ballots for First Place winners based upon their evaluation of the content and design of entries and how well the event theme is reflected in each presentation.


First place winners will be announced at 5:00 pm in Huitt-Zollars in the J. Lindsay Embrey Building.  In each category of competition, a cash prize of $500 will be given to the top finisher. (Teams that place first will share this amount.)


November 7, 2013:              Competition folder(s) must be uploaded to SMU Locker by 9:00 pm, Dallas time

November 10, 2013:            Entries selected for presentation at Research Improv will be announced


1.  Complete the online event registration form

2.  Prepare a 250 word abstract for each competition entered.  Include the title of the presentation, name of student(s) presenting, and how the entry relates to the event theme. (For team entries, only one abstract is required per category. All members of the group, however, must complete an online registration form with consent for publication and use of images.)  

3.  Create a folder containing abstract(s) and any electronic files relating to your presentation(s).

4.  Name the folder:  LastName_FirstName_RI2013.  (Use team lead name for group entries.)

5.  Upload the presentation folder to your SMU Locker account.

6.  Invite Research-Improv@lyle.smu.edu to share the folder containing your submission materials.


1.   All individual presentations will be limited to five (5) minutes in duration. Teams may not exceed ten (10) minutes. Any presentation that goes beyond the allotted time will be disqualified. 

2. Electronic poster slides, which will be viewed on Lyle monitors, must be set to “on-screen show (16:9) or 36.5”W x 20.5”H.   No presentation can exceed six (6) slides, including the title slide. 

3.   All electronic poster presentations must be in Microsoft PowerPoint format.   Movies, animations, and other media must be set to play automatically.  Recommended video formats are .mp4, .wmv, .avi, and .mov.  All monitors are equipped with Windows 7 Professional and Microsoft PowerPoint (Office 2010). MAC files using the suffix .ppt or .pptx are acceptable.

4.  Lab expositions should focus on interactivity and provide a first-hand look at the latest research in the discipline featured through interactive equipment demonstrations, in-person access to innovations, and scientific explanations.

5.  Innovation Gym showcases should engage viewing audiences by providing attendees with hands on learning opportunities that apply engineering knowledge to real world problems.


All costs associated with entries are the responsibility of the respective competitors.


The Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering fully embraces both the Student Code and the Honor Code of Southern Methodist University (SMU), as well as its policies governing responsible research and research administration. “Each person engaged in research at SMU is responsible for ensuring that his or her research is conducted in accordance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, the highest ethical and scholarly standards, and in conformity with the generally accepted standards of the discipline in which the research falls.”  In the spirit of this competition, any student or team believed to be in violation of or not promoting the intent of these policies will be disqualified from participating in Research Improv.


For further details, please visit http://bit.ly/19CJDwg or contact Research-Improv@lyle.smu.edu