Creating a Winning Entry for the 2015 Technology Leadership Awards

By vernwnek

I hope that you have decided to enter your design(s) in the 2015 Technology Leadership Awards! If you did not have a chance to read the first blog in this series, you can find it here.

2015 Technology Leadership Awards

At this point, you might be wondering:

  • What are the next steps?
  • What types of information do I need to provide?
  • Is the data I provide protected?

In this blog post, I will answer your questions and give you tips on how to create a winning entry. I also recommend reviewing the TLA 2015 FAQ web page, entry tips, and the sample entry form.

Now let’s talk about what it takes to create a winning entry for this year’s competition.

Choose a design

This design should showcase a specific challenge you had within the layout; dense placement, reduced layer count, high-speed signals, analog or RF, etc. You will be looking for a design with which the Mentor Graphics’ design tools you used helped answer the challenge.

Another thing to look for is a design that is pleasing to the eye. Remember, old-school designers like me used to call this stuff artwork. So the cooler and sexier the design, the better.

Share the methods by which you added value to your design process

This is an important component of the entry! Think about your design process and how the Mentor Graphics’ tools help you complete the design. Did you use just the layout tool, or did you use many tools to complete the design? Did you use some special tools for IO optimization or simulation? Did you design with 3D or high-volume manufacturing in mind? What special steps did you take to complete the design tasks in the most efficient method possible? Also, were you originally using another tool that could not complete the design and later switched to Mentor Graphics to complete the job?

Enter your data into the 26th Technology Leadership Awards entry portal

This is the most important part! Once you’ve chosen your design and given thought as to how you used Mentor tools to complete it, it’s time to register your design and your design team. Go to the entry portal, enter your design information, and upload the data per the requirements listed.

When entering the information, fill in everything completely. The number one reason entries are questioned is due to incomplete or incorrect data. We have a team of industry judges who are going to check everything with a fine-tooth comb, so do not stretch the truth about your design; they will see it.

When asked to describe your design, tell us everything – the highs, the lows, and even the screw ups and how you corrected them. We know designers are not perfect, but we hope that the Mentor tools and your innovative ideas helped you overcome errors that happen during a design. Tell us how long your design took. Tell us how you saved time. Nothing is unimportant and if you tell us nothing, it becomes harder to judge the design.

And, don’t worry if you make a mistake or don’t have all of the information right now. You will receive a login for your entry, and you can update it right up until the closing of registration. We know that you still may be working on the design!

Just remember, the more complete the data, the better.

Good luck, and I hope to see your designs soon!

Thanks for reading,


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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at