Student Innovations at Siemens Design Hack

By margaretfox

In June 2023, Siemens hosted the Realize LIVE flagship event in Las Vegas, Nevada. For the first time ever, the Siemens Empowers Education and Startups team hosted the Siemens Sustainability Design Hack, a competition for students from the United States and Canada to solve a sustainability problem for a real client, KYBURZ Switzerland AG. During the Design Hack, the four student teams were tasked with using Siemens NX software to optimize the design of a chassis component for sustainability.

In this episode of Innovation in the Classroom, Shannon O’Donnell sits down with Design Hack participants Ava Boley and Ricardo Ramirez to discuss their experience during the Design Hack and at Realize LIVE. Ava Boley is a fourth year studying aerospace at Michigan State University and Ricardo Ramierz is a recent electromechanical engineering graduate from Seneca College in Toronto. Read on to get the highlights of Shannon’s conversation with the two participants. 

Engineering education and problem-solving in the real world

Ava and Ricardo discussed how the Design Hack helped them get real-life experience that they wouldn’t have been able to get in the classroom. They mentioned that competitions like the Design Hack allowed them to test the knowledge they learned in the classroom while giving them a taste of what they will be doing after graduation. Ricardo stated that competitions like the Design Hack make better engineers because these opportunities provide students with knowledge of problems they will face in the real world.

Networking and mentorship at the Design Hack

Both Ava and Ricardo’s teams were able to benefit from the mentorship and involvement of industry experts in the Design Hack. The students were able to collaborate with experts to talk through certain aspects of their design and design process that the students may not have been aware of, improve their designs with industry knowledge, and have an overall enhanced experience. Working with industry experts during the Design Hack gave Ava, Ricardo, and their teammates the opportunity to collaborate with these individuals in a unique way and then learn more about what the day-to-day could look like in their field of interest.

Impressions from the Design Hack and Realize LIVE

Participating in the Design Hack and attending Realize LIVE proved to be an invaluable experience for both Ava and Ricardo. They had the opportunity to see projects Siemens and other companies were working on, network with Siemens professionals and industry experts, and gain new perspectives they wouldn’t have had at school. Both students mentioned that being able to have face-to-face interaction with individuals in the field and from around the world was one of the most impactful parts of the conference and the Design Hack.

Advice to other students

When asked what advice they would give to students who may be considering signing up for the Siemens Sustainability Design Hack, or other competitions, they had several suggestions. Ava and Ricardo said they were both glad to have participated and were able to get a lot from the experience. Ricardo mentioned that if students have an interest, they should act on it and take the next step in creating sustainability solutions. Ava said to not be afraid to put yourself out there and to just go for it. Go for opportunities that may be out of reach because the competition is meant to be fun and events like the Design Hack and Realize LIVE provide students with an incredible opportunity to learn, grow and explore. 

Our time is now. If we want to get to the next step, if we really want to get involved in sustainability, we need to get it done now, we need to start now, because the best time to start was yesterday, but the second best is now.

– Ricardo Ramirez

To learn more about the 2023 Design Hack, check out these blogs: Americas, EMEA. For those interested in attending the 2024 Realize LIVE Americas in Las Vegas, Nevada, click here. For those interested in attending the 2024 Realize LIVE Europe in Munich, Germany, click here. Visit this site to keep up with developments for the 2024 Design Hack, which will take place during Realize LIVE Americas. To learn more about how the SEES team bridges the gap between industry and academia, check out the Academic & Startups blog.

Innovation in the Classroom Podcast Podcast

Innovation in the Classroom Podcast

Innovation in the Classroom by Siemens explores best practices to empower the next generation of digital talent. In this podcast series, Dora Smith takes you through discussions with leading voices from the world of engineering education who are preparing future engineers in Academia 4.0 to shape the world of innovation.

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This article first appeared on the Siemens Digital Industries Software blog at https://blogs.sw.siemens.com/podcasts/innovation-in-the-classroom/student-innovations-at-siemens-design-hack/