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Engineering Prototyping

Francis College of Engineering Prototyping Competition

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This program is supported by the Francis College of Engineering and the DifferenceMaker program.

The Competition

Do you have a great idea? Are you wondering if it can be turned into a real product that customers would buy and use? If so, then this is for you: a competition to push you to think about an idea and bring it to life.

What is the difference between this competition and other innovation and entrepreneurship competitions on campus? This competition is more than just generating an idea; it is about generating a product - whether it is a mechanical/electrical device, a software application, or an integrated system. After all, ideas are great but we want you to be creative and build it, sketch it, etc., with the resources you have!


  • Applicants must be students (graduate or undergraduate) at UMass Lowell and at least one team member must be from the Francis College of Engineering.
  • Students are encouraged to form interdisciplinary teams with all team members taking part in developing the executive summary submission and prototype.
  • Each team should identify a faculty advisor from engineering.
  • Due to the virtual manner of this competition, Zoom, Google, FaceTime, and other virtual applications are encouraged for collaboration.

Important Dates

Application Registration and Deadline Instructions

  • Create a team using the Idea platform.
  • After you have created a team, apply to the Engineering Competition via the Idea Platform.
  • Once your application is approved, then you can submit an executive summary via the Idea platform.
  • Questions? Please email Diane Reichlen:, Francis College of Engineering Program Coordinator

Executive Summary

Executive summaries will be submitted online in the Idea Platform. Teams submitting plans past the deadline will not be included in the competition.

Available Resources

  • Teams that submit a proposal by the deadline are eligible to submit receipts of expenses incurred in their prototype design.
  • A maximum of $100 will be reimbursed, with valid expenses including material costs, equipment rental, etc. Student teams must approach engineering faculty and/or technical staff for the use of laboratory facilities (if necessary) in their designs and prototyping.
  • Please note that due to COVID-19, these resources are limited and may not be available to everyone. Therefore, please use the resources you have access to. Because of this, the competition will focus more on the idea, pitch, viability, and research conducted.
  • All registered teams will be invited to attend DifferenceMaker events during the semester to learn relevant skills and techniques, from idea generation to writing a business plan.


  • $2,500 award for 1st place team
  • $1,500 award for 2nd place team
  • $1,500 award for the Best Biomedical Device, sponsored by Professor McCarthy
  • $1,000 award for 3rd place team
  • $500 award for the people's choice award (crowd voting)


2019 Winners

  • First Place Award, $2,500 went to Concussion Sensor, which is a mouth guard with a sensor to detect a concussion while athletes are playing in games.
  • Team: Sarah Chennankara, Taviana Franciskato, Devon Hartigan, and Patel Yamikumari
  • Second Place Award, $1,500 went to The Smart Safety Outlet, which is an outlet that interfaces with an app to permit only authorized people to use electrical appliances.
  • Team: David HoldBrookSmith, Divyanshu Verma, and Romeo Cayabyab
  • Third Place Award, $1,000 went to Stand-Assist Belt, which is a new design of the traditional gait belt to reduce injuries by providing back and under buttock support to assist nurses in helping patients to stand.
  • Team: Kerri Stolberg, Ariya Taraz, Eliza Slocum, and Zachary Rinaldi
  • Best BioMedical Device Award, $1,500, sponsored by Professor Stephen McCarthy, went to Cat Mat, which is a physical therapy mat that simulates walking outdoors to help improve a patients balance and stability, as well as other impairments they may have.
  • Team: Michelle Mailloux, Katherine Muise, Nicholas Draper, Travis Cohen, and Tyler Clifton
  • People's Choice Award: $500 went to Team Use-App, which is an app that helps people recycle single use materials.
  • Team: Jennifer Schultz, Bryan Veno, and Joseph Coughlin
  • Honorable Mention prize went to OTDSEES, which is a device that can assist disabled athletes, Scuba divers, trades people, and homeowners with transferring heavy items, equipment or people.

Thank you to all the 2019 preliminary and finalist judges!