ASU engineers take on rivals, earn first place Materials Bowl award

Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering had seven teams compete against 13 teams from the University of Arizona (UA) Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) in the 13th Annual Materials Bowl on April 25, 2016.

The Materials Bowl is a senior capstone project and poster competition sponsored by the ASM International Phoenix Chapter in which six jury members from the materials community award three top ranked projects. The winning team receives the Materials Territorial Trophy.

The annual event took place at the Memorial Union on ASU’s Tempe campus. At the event, teams of around three to four students gave presentations to a panel of judges and were critiqued based on the quality of their projects and presentations.

“In the MSE capstone course we strive to give the students as much real life experience as possible,” says Shahriar Anwar, a senior research specialist in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy. “From soliciting a mentor that is preferably from the local industry, to finding a suitable project that can be delivered within the given time frame, to sticking to a budget.”

This year, ASU’s team of Cougar Garcia, Brooke Hudson, Adam Pocock and Nolan Walker took home the top prize of $1,000 and brought the Materials Territorial Trophy to ASU at least until next year. Their project was titled “Ultra-Low-Noise Cryogenic Dipping Probe with Dynamic Range for JMRAM Applications.” JMRAM devices are used for superconducting supercomputing to reduce power consumption, but current dipping probes working at ultra-low temperatures of 4K generate noisy results whereas much more expensive systems that cost around $20,000 are less noisy but operate at a limited voltage range. The group designed and made a low-noise dipping probe at a fraction of the cost (around $2,000).

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