About the Contest

Contest History

The Create the Future Design Contest was launched in 2002 by the publishers of Tech Briefs magazine to help stimulate and reward engineering innovation. The annual event has attracted more than 15,000 product design ideas from engineers, entrepreneurs, and students in 100+ countries worldwide. The contest's principal sponsors are COMSOL and Mouser Electronics, with Analog Devices and Intel as supporting sponsors.

Category sponsors include FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology, Maplesoft, and Zeus.

The contest is produced by SAE Media Group.

 

Primary Sponsors


Mouser Electronics, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is an authorized semiconductor and electronic component distributor focused on New Product Introductions from its leading manufacturer partners. Serving the global electronic design engineer and buyer community, the global distributor's website, Mouser.com, is available in multiple languages and currencies and features more than 5 million products from over 1,100 manufacturer brands. Mouser offers 27 support locations worldwide to provide best-in-class customer service in local language, currency and time zone. The distributor ships to over 630,000 customers in 223 countries/territories from its 1 million-square-foot, state-of-the-art distribution facilities in the Dallas, Texas, metro area. For more information, visit www.mouser.com.

 

Supporting Sponsors


Analog Devices is a leading global high-performance analog technology company dedicated to solving the toughest engineering challenges. We enable our customers to interpret the world around us by intelligently bridging the physical and digital with unmatched technologies that sense, measure, power, connect and interpret.
Visit www.analog.com.


Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), a leader in the semiconductor industry, is shaping the data-centric future with computing and communications technology that is the foundation of the world’s innovations. The company’s engineering expertise is helping address the world’s greatest challenges as well as helping secure, power and connect billions of devices and the infrastructure of the smart, connected world – from the cloud to the network to the edge and everything in between. Find more information about Intel at newsroom.intel.com and intel.com.

 

Category Sponsors  

Medical

Zeus Industrial Products, Inc., is headquartered in Orangeburg, SC, USA. Its core business is the development and precision extrusion of advanced polymeric materials. The company employs over 1,700 people worldwide with facilities in Aiken, Gaston, and Orangeburg, South Carolina; Branchburg, New Jersey; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Guangzhou China; and Letterkenny, Ireland. Zeus products and services serve companies in the medical, automotive, aerospace, fiber optics, energy, and fluid management markets. For more information, visit www.zeusinc.com.

Electronics/Sensors/IoT

FUTEK Advanced Sensor Technology is a leading provider of strain gauge sensor solutions (force, torque, pressure), instrumentation, software and calibration services that are at the forefront of sensor technology. With its headquarters and manufacturing facilities located in Irvine, Southern California, FUTEK products are designed and manufactured under one umbrella, allowing for a highly efficient and innovative ecosystem that includes multidisciplinary engineering teams, a high precision machining center, and state of the art quality assurance systems. Founded in 1988 by Javad Mokhbery, who left his career as a senior engineer at Rockwell to fulfill his ambition to create high quality sensor solutions that would advance the future of technology. Three decades later, his American Dream has come to fruition. FUTEK has grown from a one-man operation in a small apartment to an industry powerhouse with 150 team members, 100,000 sq ft manufacturing space, 3,400 off-the-shelf products and a client roster that includes the likes of NASA, Apple, Google, MIT, and Intuitive Surgical.

Manufacturing/Robotics/Automation

Maplesoft is the leading provider of high-performance software tools for engineering, science, and mathematics. Maplesoft Engineering Solutions provide advanced tools and services for system simulation, calculation management, and systems engineering, helping organizations maximize the power of their engineering knowledge so they can complete their projects quickly and successfully. The Maplesoft product suite includes Maple™, for technical computing and calculation management, MapleSim™, the advanced system-level modeling and simulation tool, and MapleMBSE, which supports a model based systems engineering approach to requirements management. Maplesoft products and services are used in machine design, robotics, aerospace, automotive, industrial automation, and many other fields where engineers face complex challenges. Key applications include the creation of digital twins, dynamic analysis of mechanisms, battery systems modeling, heat transfer modeling, and bus fleet electrification. Customers include Boeing, FLSmidth, Ford, Google, Intel, NASA, and Samsung.

Maplesoft is a subsidiary of Cybernet Systems Group. To learn more about Maplesoft, please visit www.maplesoft.com.

  

Prize Sponsors

 

Nanoport Technology Inc. is an R&D lab for mobile technologies. The company specializes in developing advanced solutions for connectivity, haptics, multi-device applications, and human-device interfaces. The TacHammer solution enables high-fidelity haptics in smartphones, electronic peripherals, and automobiles through custom actuator design, software, and system integration.

 

Contest Producer

SAE Media Group

SAE Media Group, an SAE International Company, publishes information products that help engineers solve their toughest challenges and design better products faster. SMG’s industry-leading magazines include Tech Briefs, Medical Design Briefs, Aerospace & Defense Technology, Automotive Engineering, Autonomous Vehicle Engineering, Truck & Off-Highway Engineering, Battery Technology, Photonics & Imaging Technology, Motion Design, and Sensor Technology. SMG also produces a range of e-newsletters, Web sites, online events/Webinars, and custom publications and contests. Combined, these products serve over 1 million engineers and managers worldwide.

 

Previous Winners

GRAND PRIZE WINNERS

2020
RepelWrap – a Nature-inspired Surface Technology for Repelling Contamination
Leyla Soleymani and Tohid Didar, McMaster University, Ontario, Canada
The RepelWrap self-cleaning surface instantly repels viruses and bacteria. It could prevent the transfer of superbugs (strains of bacteria resistant to most antibiotics) and reduce the spread of COVID-19. The transparent, flexible film is biodegradable and can be shrink-wrapped to fit onto door handles, railings, and other surfaces that act as magnets for bacteria.

2019
The ULiSSES™ Device for Organ and Limb Preservation
Leonid Bunegin, BS - Chief Scientific Officer, Vascular Perfusion Solutions, Inc; Rafael J Veraza, MPH, PhD- Senior Scientist, Vascular Perfusion Solutions, Inc; Tom DeBrooke, MA, MBA- Chief Executive Officer, Vascular Perfusion Solutions, Inc 
Vascular Perfusion Solutions (VPS) has developed a new, unique, and innovative medical device that extends organ and limb viability - the Universal Limb/Organ Stasis System for Extended Storage, or ULiSSES™. 

2018
Invisible Glass
Charles T. Black, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, NY, USA; Andreas C. Liapis, Wellman Center for Photomedicine, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Cambridge MA, USA; Atikur Rahman, Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research, Pune, Maharashtra, India
A nanotechnology coating from Brookhaven National Laboratory imparts anti-reflection and water-repellency capabilities to surfaces made of silicon, glass, and plastics like Teflon.

2017
HI-LIGHT - Solar Thermal Chemical Reactor Technology for Converting CO2 to Hydrocarbons
Xiangkun (Elvis) Cao, Jessica Akemi Cimada da Silva, David Erickson, and Tobias Hanrath, Cornell University; Jason Salfi and Clayton Poppe, Dimensional Energy, Ithaca, NY, USA
The HI-Light reactor being developed at Cornell University is a solar-thermocatalytic “reverse combustion” technology that enables the conversion of CO2 and water to methanol and other high-value hydrocarbons. The innovative claim of the HI-Light reactor design derives from the concurrent optimization of light-coupling and catalyst availability.

2016
Hyliion - Hybrid Technology for Semi-Trailers and the Trucking Industry
Thomas Healy, RF Culbertson, AJ Emanuele, Morgan Culbertson, Wilson Sa, Pam Culbertson, Chad Saylor, Len Kulbacki, Eric Weber, Adam Faris, Kim Kasee, Roger Richter, Jared King, Phil Aufdencamp, and Tim Gehring, Hyliion, Pittsburgh, PA, USA
We (Hyliion) - hybridize the trailer portion of the tractor-trailer combination – saving over 30% on fuel. Our system uses regenerative braking to capture power when the trailer is slowing down or going down hill, and reuses that power to help the truck-trailer up hills. Our system installs in 23 minutes.

2015
Development Of A Non-surgical Circulatory Support Device For The Treatment Of Chronic Heart Failure
Omar Benavides, Benjamin Hertzog, Jace Heuring, Reynolds Delgado, and Will Clifton
Aortix™ augments heart function by accelerating a portion of native blood flow within the pump and pushing it downstream to entrain aortic flow. Strategic placement downstream of the heart allows for combined benefit to the heart, kidneys, and other vital organs while eliminating the common VAD risks of damage to the heart and thrombotic stroke.

2014
Robotic Building Construction By Contour Crafting
Behrokh Khoshnevis
Contour Crafting (CC) is a computerized construction method that 3D prints large-scale structures directly from architectural CAD models. Walls are built up by forming their outer surfaces via extrusion of a paste-like material such as concrete, and the use of a robotic trowel to provide a smooth, contoured surface. CC is a very flexible technique, capable of constructing aesthetically pleasing “organic” curvilinear shapes as easily as “boxy” rectilinear shapes; as such, it has attracted strong interest from leading architects.

2013
ChemoPatch
Nikhil Mehandru, Aaron Perez, Brandon Sim; Loudonville, New York
Four Harvard University students of various disciplines have founded Theratech and have introduced the ChemoPatchTM, a low-cost, disposable, and electronic patch-based cancer chemotherapy device designed to be simple, automated, and easy-to-use by cancer patients outside of the hospital, yet cutting-edge in it's ability to deliver quality early-stage chemotherapy.

2012
Sensordrone: a Practical, Tricorder Like Platform for Consumers and Mobile Device Developers
Mark Wagner, Sensorcon, Buffalo, NY
Sensordrone is a multi-purpose, configurable sensor that dramatically extends the sensing capability of smartphones & tablets. It is a key Fob sized platform for both consumers and developers.

2011
Screen Fast and Cheap Bacteria Detection
Monika Weber, New Haven, CT
?Screen is the needed MEMS rapid pathogen screener for food-borne illnesses. It has a potential to improve health standards at the consumer level by increasing sensitivity, keeping the cost down and testing time short.

2010
Rowheel Wheelchair Propulsion System
Salim Nasser, Merritt Island, FL
The Rowheel offers a fundamental difference in the approach to manual wheelchair propulsion in that it operates by means of a pulling/rowing motion as opposed to pushing.

2008
LifeBelt® CPR
Thomas Lach, Deca-Medics, Columbus, OH
Device makes it easy and safe for anyone to perform high-quality CPR compressions for extended periods of time.

2007
Litroenergy™, a New Light Source Material

Steve Stark, MPK Co., Champlin, MN
Can emit light continuously for more than 12 years without exposure to sunlight or other energy sources.

2006
Integrated Motor/Pump

David A. Torrey, Advanced Energy Conversion LLC, Malta, NY
Fluid pump design reduces parasitic losses in trucks/other vehicles, improves thermal performance of the electric motor through direct liquid cooling of the windings, and shrinks size by combining the motor and pump in a single housing.

2005
Low-Cost In-Vehicle Emergency Warning Device

Patrick Scholes, CPS Systems, Germantown, TN
A simple emergency beacon detector circuit interrupts a car’s audio system’s power when an emergency vehicle approaches, emitting a brief alarm signal to alert drivers and prevent collisions.

2004
Unitary Orthopedic Appliance

Leonard Duffy, Chittenden Research and Development, Hinesburg, VT
A unique interlocking fastener design with advantages over hook-and-loop systems enables orthopedic devices that can be easily removed, cleaned, and reused.

2003
OsteoSonic™ Noninvasive Bone and Joint Damage Detection Device

Michael Liebschner, Rice University, Houston, TX
This portable, battery-operated unit that fits in the palm of the hand can detect bony fractures and soft tissue damage, operating without radiation.

2002
Rotary Pinion Face Gear Set

Fred Vreeman, Orlando, FL
Low-friction gear set operates with high efficiency over the entire range of power transmission capability.

 

CATEGORY/FIRST-PRIZE WINNERS

2020

2019

2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

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2012

2011

2010

2008

2007

2006

2005

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2003

2002