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About the Challenge
Students developing ideas describing how to create intelligence from manufacturing data

Posted By: Department of Defense
Category: Software/Apps, Ideas, Scientific/Engineering, Other
Partners: Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by the U.S. Army Benét Labs, AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA)
Partnership With: Department of Defense
Submission Dates: 12:30 p.m. ET, Jun 09, 2015 - 12 p.m. ET, Mar 15, 2016 Judging Dates: Mar 16, 2016 - Mar 22, 2016 Winners Announced: Mar 23, 2016

UPDATE: Based on multiple requests from both professors and students, the submission deadline for this competition has been EXTENDED to March 15, 2016. Winners will be announced by March 23, 2016. Ideation winners will be invited to attend the [MC]2 Conference, a digital manufacturing conference taking place in Dallas on April 19-21, 2016.


The next Industrial Revolution is happening now, and this is your opportunity to change its trajectory forever! Your participation in this challenge could directly affect the advancement of an entire industry, and subsequently our nation’s economic growth. Sounds daunting? We promise it isn’t. There is just a five page paper standing between you and big opportunities that will allow you to transform your future while transforming an industry. Not only are there incredible opportunities and cash prizes on the line (upwards of $10,500!), but the challenge could also serve as an impressive thesis, capstone or finals project. You have to do these projects for class anyway, you might as well make your mark on history while you’re at it!

Your challenge is to brainstorm and develop innovative and adaptable manufacturing intelligence, drawing from data acquired using the MTConnect standard. MTConnect is an open, XML- and HTTP-based communications standard that acts as the enabler for the Internet of Things for manufacturing by fostering improved connectivity and interoperability between manufacturing equipment and devices. Within the challenge itself— there are two separate competitions, and you can choose to participate in one or both.

#1— Idea Creation: You must identify a manufacturing intelligence need, and build a business case for your proposed solution. Your solution must be written out, and including a cover page and 200 word abstract, may not exceed five pages.

#2— Applications: Read more about the Application Challenge here.

Please see the Rules tab for a comprehensive run down of the challenge rules and requirements. For more information, check out the Discussion tab here and our resources on And, if you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to reach out on Facebook or Twitter. Good luck!


How to Enter

Please use the “Submit Solution” tab to upload your five-page proposal.

(A) Cover Page (1 page)
Program Name: MTConnect Student Challenge: Idea Creation
Title of Idea:
Respondent Name:
Organization (if applicable):
Phone Number:
Email address:
Date of Proposal:

(B) Section I: Abstract (200 words max.): Proposed idea:
Provide an abstract describing your idea for an application

(C) Section II: Proposed idea:
Provide an innovative, achievable, and inspirational goal statement that summarizes your idea
Describe your proposed idea
Identify areas of benefit and the impact your idea would have on manufacturing

(D) Section III: Technical Requirements:
Identify the technical requirements needed to implement your proposed idea
Describe how your idea proposes to utilize MTConnect
Are there scientific or technical breakthroughs and milestones required to achieve the goal (i.e. new technology developments, enhancements to MTConnect standard, etc.)?

(E) Section IV: Benefits and Impact:
Describe the anticipated benefits to manufacturing that will be realized through your proposed solution.
The impact should be described as a return on investment (ROI) to include the installation and maintenance of the prescribed technology. ROI could include concepts such as quality improvement, reduction in cost of doing business, increase in productivity, improved efficiency, etc.

The format for the submission is limited to 5 single-spaced pages, not including the Title page, with 1 inch margins on 8.5 x 11 inch letter paper and using Times New Roman font in the 12 point font size. All submissions shall not exceed 35MB. If links are included, they will not be considered during evaluation of the submission.

All abstracts will be made public.

Submissions containing proprietary data will not be accepted.


Top Prize $5,000.00 Won by: Alexander Lee
Solution: Rasberry Pi for Data Visualization
2nd Prize $2,500.00 Won by: Steven Hearndon
Solution: MTMonitor: An IFTTT Channel for MTConnect
Runner Up $1,000.00 Won by: Zach DeSmit, Patrick Good
Solution: Cyber-Attack Detection using MTConnect Data
Runner Up $1,000.00 Won by: Maxwell K. Micali
Solution: Extracting Design Characteristics from Unsecured MTConnect Data Streams
Runner Up $1,000.00 Won by: Ilya Kovalenko, Miguel Saez
Solution: Multi-agent Control of Manufacturing System

6 Discussions for "MTConnectStudentIdeas"

  • dgilson
    Frequently Asked Questions: Q: Do I have to participate in the Ideation competition in order to participate in the Application competition? A: No, you can participate in either one or both competitions. Q: Do I have to be a U.S. citizen to participate in either competition? A: No, all enrolled U.S. college or university students who were lawfully admitted into the United States are eligible. This includes undergraduate and graduate students; university or community college. Q: Can I team with others on a submission? A: Yes, you can work on a submission as a team. Team members can be within the same or at different schools. However, all members of the team must be eligible for the challenge. Q: Can I use my current work (e.g. projects, capstones, theses, etc.) to enter this competition? A: Absolutely. You can submit existing or new work for one or both competitions as long as it isn’t a commercial product at the time of submission. Q: Who are the judges? A: The judging panel will be made up of representatives from government, non-profit, and for-profit entities who work in the manufacturing industry. Q: How strict is the deadline? A: Very strict. Late submissions will not be eligible. Q: Is there a limit to the number of ideas or applications I submit? A: No, you can enter as many times as you like. Q: What resources can help me get started? • For an overview of how data is used in the manufacturing industry and more information about the MTConnect standard, visit • To learn about the challenges and opportunities in the U.S. manufacturing industry, visit the National Network of Manufacturing Innovation at • To learn about the challenges and opportunities in digital manufacturing, visit the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute at • Partnering with a manufacturer can give you good perspective on their needs and give you inspiration for developing ideas and applications. To find your nearest manufacturer, visit

  • Dave Gilson
    Attached is a press release issued by AMT regarding the recently announced extension to the MTConnect Student Challenge Idea Creation timeline:

  • Show Replies [+]
    Please take a look at the "Resources" section of the site, which includes a tutorial with Will Sobel, chief architect of the MTConnect Standard and Chief Strategy Officer of System Insights (Berkeley, CA). This tutorial was provided at the North American Manufacturing Research Conference (NAMRC) in June 2015. We are currently planning future seminars, so please let us know if you have specific questions related to MTConnect and/or the Student Ideas Challenge. Dave Gilson

    • Reply
      I attended the info session for the MTconnect student challenge. The deadlines for both ideation and application were said to be postponed. Do we get to know when exactly will be the deadlines for this year ( Dec 2015 onward) ?

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Please see the rules document attached:
MTConnect Challenge Idea Creation Rules16DEC2015

Please note that the submission deadline has changed to March 15, 2016.


In addition to being available within the challenge discussion forum, a list of frequently asked questions can be viewed here:

MTConnect Student Challenge – Website – FAQ – v2

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