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de Florez Competition Winners Split $18K in Prize Money

With an impressive array of some of the best gadget and product developments Mechanical Engineering students have to offer, this year’s de Florez Competition, which took place this past Friday, April 26, made good on its namesake as always. 

Luis de Florez earned a BS in mechanical engineering from MIT in 1911. He was a renowned designer during his time at MIT, later designing flight simulators during World War II that had a significant impact on the Navy’s aviation success. He was awarded the Legion of Merit in 1945.


The awards given by the department each year in honor of de Florez are based separated into undergraduate and graduate categories. Competitors do their best to “sell” the gizmos and products they’ve developed to a team of judges, who look at each entry’s level of creativity, innovation, practical application, scientific basis, and design skill. The purpose of the competition is to give students a chance to strut their skills and gain schoolwide recognition for their research and prototypes. 


This year’s competition pitted 27 applicants against each other to compete for a total of $18,000 in prize money. In addition to individual projects, some entries were submitted for the work a MechE individual contributed to a larger team project, and in these cases, the individual was judged on their contribution alone. 


This year’s graduate winners are: In first place, Federico Parietti and Kameron Chan for their Wearable Robotic Limbs to Augment Human Performance; and Anirban Mazumdar for the Control-Configured Underwater Vehicle for Infrastructure Inspection. In second place is William Braff for his Hydrogen Bromine Laminar Flow Battery; Lauren Hernley and Saul Lopez for their Ultrasound Probe Sheathing Device; and Adam Paxson for his Condensation Heat Transfer Apparatus. In third place is Justin Beroz’s Handheld Pipette with High-Resolution and Extended Volume Range; and Bolin Liao’s Designing Electron Cloaks for Better Thermoelectrics and Electronics. Fourth place winners are Betar Gallant, with her Design of Nanostructured Electrodes for High-Performance Li Batteries; Dan Dorsch and Natasha Wright, with their Uterine Manipulator Incorporating Non-Local Controls and Lateral Motion; Kevin Cedrone, with his Augmented Infant Resuscitator (AIR); and Pawel Zimoch, with his Tunable Capillary Breakup of Discontinuously Rate-Thickening Suspensions. 


This year’s undergraduate winners are: Jaguar Kristeller, in first place with his Electric Orbit Wheels: Hubless Wheels that Provide Propulsion Sideways; Ben Katz and Jonny Slocum in second place with the Electric Tricycle: A Small EV Optimized for Power, Handling, and Efficiency, and the Force Sensitive Toothbrush and Testing Stand, respectively; in third place is Laura Matloff for her Design and Optimization of an x-y-0z Cylindrical Flexure Stage; and in fourth place is Alfonso Perez, Chris Haid, and Mateo Pena-Doll for their Automated Part Removal Mechanism for a 3D Printer. 


Congratulations to all!



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