2021 NSF/ASME Student Design Essay Competition


To encourage students to think about the future of engineering design and the intellectual foundations which are essential for the development of the field, NSF and ASME sponsor a student design essay competition. Winners are invited to attend the 2021 ASME Design Technical Conference (IDETC) which will be held virtually and will receive reimbursement for registration expenses.

The Competition – Story

You are a consultant working for a high tech, global manufacturing enterprise. That company wants to position itself to be a leading major high‐tech global design and manufacturing enterprise in the year 2035. As a consultant, you want the company to succeed so you will need to:

  • Define the characteristics of a successful high‐tech global design and manufacturing company in the year 2035.
  • Identify the research challenges it will face. Identify the mode of operation of the company. Determine what partnerships it will need to form.
  • Identify what technology will be necessary to support its employees in being globally competitive.

We are particularly interested in research issues that those in academia will need to address over the intervening years to enhance the competitiveness of this company. We are interested especially in the scientific foundations for understanding the product realization process which are suitable for a global manufacturing enterprise.

Judging Criteria

Students are judged on scholarship, the depth and sophistication of their arguments, logical presentation of material, correct English usage, and relevance to problems facing the US industrial/academic community. There are separate categories for graduate and undergraduate students.

Awards and Responsibilities

An award to cover registration expenses will be made to the winners of this competition. The reimbursement will take place after the conference upon the receipt of an invoice that includes receipts to substantiate expenditures. A winner must present his/her findings at a poster session in order to receive the award. Every person given a travel grant will receive a certificate to record his/her accomplishment.

Submission Format and Dates

Any undergraduate or graduate student enrolled in a university anywhere in the world is eligible although the focus is on students enrolled in universities in the United States. Undergraduate and graduate students will be evaluated in separate categories.

Essays should be a maximum of 10 pages long.

Multiple authors are limited to two people. The travel grant is shared between the co‐ authors. A student may receive no more than 2 awards over the years.

There are separate categories for submissions by undergraduates and graduate students. The research paper may be the outcome of a course for which the student receives academic credit.


Papers due……………………………………………………………………………………… June 1, 2021

Target for notification of winners………………………………………………………… July 1, 2021

IDETC 2021…………………………………………………………………………… August 17-20, 2021

Please include a cover page with:

Email address, phone number and address for all authors, university affiliation including advisor’s name and whether this submission is for the graduate or undergraduate category. NOTE – we will remove this page when sending the submission out for review, so this should be the only page on which your identifying information should appear.

Submit Entries to Professor Janet K. Allen, janet.allen@ou.edu, 404‐403‐3296

For more information see IDETCtravel.com (https://idetctravel.com/)

About IDETC 2021

The 2021 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference will be held virtually from August 17-20, 2021. Check (https://event.asme.org/IDETC-CIE) for information about this conference.

We gratefully acknowledge support from NSF Award 1835957.

Farrokh Mistree and Janet K. Allen
Facilitators of the NSF Design Essay Competition

Previous Winners

* Indicates undergraduate winner

2020 Winners

An Autonomous Approach to Facilitate Global Remote Healthcare Services
Ahmed S. Chowdhury and Lakshmi Narasimhon
Florida Institute of Technology

How Does It Affect Me? The Need for Empathy in a Sustainable World
Rohan Prabhu
The Pennsylvania State University

Enterprise Resource Planning Systems
Alan Soo*
Sydney University of Technology

2019 Winners

Rethinking the Utility of Waste: A look into a waste utility network model of circular-economic enterprise(s)
Jonathan T. Bessette*
University at Buffallo

Design for Scarcity
Hannah D. Budinoff
University of California, Berkeley

BioX Technologies, a 2035 Global Sustainable Enterprise
Nafiseh Masoudi and Jebin Biju
Clemson University

Regenerative rockets and Remanufactured satellites: Are we ready now?
Lakshmi Narasimhon A. V. and Ahmed M. S. Chowdhury
Florida Institute of Technology

End-of-Life Recovery as an Intelligent Model for the 2035 Manufacturing Industry
Massimigliano Di Luigi
University at Buffalo

Preventing and Predicting Diabetic Foot Ulceration in 2035:
A Design Framework for an Integrated Clinical Decision Support Footwear
Lin Guo
University of Oklahoma

How Nanotechnology Will Transform Design and Manufacturing
Juzel Lloyd*
Howard University

Eco-Islands: Offshore Sustainable Manufacturing
Xiaoyang Mao
Florida Institute of Technology

Smart Villages — A Sustainable Approach for People, Planet, and Prosperity
Anju Vijayan Nair
Mississippi State University

Stay Competitive in Big Data: A Text Mining Platform for Knowledge Discovery in Manufacturing Enterprises
Shan Peng
University of Oklahoma

2018 Winners

Adaptive Products through Artificial Intelligence
Jonathan Bessette*
University at Buffalo

Holonic Manufacturing Systems for Agile Manufacturing
Ismayuzri Bin Ishak and Mark Moffatt
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology and Florida Institute of Technology

Viva in Vitro: Relpacing Farmed Meat with Lab Grown Meat on Supermarket Shelves Everywhere
McKenzie Clark*
Florida Institute of Technology

Data-Driven Energy Development in the Year 2035
Samuel Dunbar
North Carolina State University

Mass Customization by Designing the Customer Order Decoupling Point Using the Formulation Exploration Method
Lin Guo
The University of Oklahoma

The High-Tech Global Design and Manufacturing Enterprise of 2035
Jacob Hunter*
Brigham Young University

Additive Manufacturing in Space
Adam Madison*
Florida Institue of Technology

The Future of High-Tech Global Manufacturing and Design
Donovan A. Ross
Oregon State University

Human-Robot Symbiosis in Manufacturing and Design
Darshan Yadav
Florida Institute of Technology