Rensselaer Team Takes Third Place at ASME Design Competition

Troy, N.Y. A team of Rensselaer students earned third place at the ASME Student Manufacturing Design Competition at the Manufacturing Science and Engineering Conference at the University of Southern California. The students designed “Invisbell,” a bike bell that mounts on either side of a bicycle’s handlebars to accommodate both left- and right-handed riders.

Swetha Sriram, a junior majoring in industrial and management engineering, was the team’s project manager. “My teammates were dedicated and motivated people who worked hard together to make our product a reality,” said Sriram. “I hope to implement what I have learned in a career in manufacturing.” The team included pursuing degrees in mechanical engineering, industrial and management engineering, and electrical engineering. Team members are: Jonathan Magliulo’18, Joshua Bostick ’18, Peter Prosper ’17, Matthew Thayer ’17, Sebastian Garcia ’18, Fariha Ahmed ’18, Karen Bouchard ’17, Daniel Anderson ’17, Hunter Eiss ’18, and Jacob Peterson ’18.

The Design Competition, sponsored by the Manufacturing Engineering Division of ASME International, provides a platform for students to present solutions for a range of design problems from everyday household tasks to groundbreaking space exploration.

“Rensselaer Engineering has developed an excellent reputation for outstanding research and education in advanced manufacturing. I congratulate the student design teams as well as their mentors, Sam Chiappone and Larry Ruff, for their continued success at the national level,” said Shekhar Garde, dean of the School of Engineering at Rensselaer. “These competitions challenge students to translate theoretical knowledge into practical applications, as well as develop their teamwork and leadership skills.”

“Rensselaer students in the Manufacturing Processes and Systems class in the Manufacturing Innovation Learning Lab (MILL) are the next generation of leaders in advanced manufacturing.” said Sam Chiappone, director of manufacturing innovation for the School of Engineering. “The MILL allows students the opportunity to see how engineering theory, individual manufacturing and assembly processes, people, budgets, customer requirements, and schedules are meshed into a functional system. This experience makes them better engineers and future industrial innovators when they graduate from RPI.”   

Rensselaer also had two other teams that were among nine competition finalists. The Survival Wallet team, represented by Ph.D. student Daniel Kaczmarek, created a water-resistant wallet to hold first-aid supplies, money, credit cards, and a LED light for outdoor enthusiasts. The Mind-in-Machines team, represented by Yao Aleke’18, created a gearbox desk ornament. 

While at Rensselaer, engineering student participation in design competitions and immersion in advanced manufacturing education for those interested in the field are examples of The New Polytechnic, an emerging paradigm for teaching, learning, and research at Rensselaer. The foundation for this vision is the recognition that global challenges and opportunities are so great they cannot be adequately addressed by even the most talented person working alone. Rensselaer serves as a crossroads for collaboration—working with partners across disciplines, sectors, and geographic regions—to address complex global challenges, using the most advanced tools and technologies, many of which are developed at Rensselaer. The New Polytechnic is transformative in the global impact of research, in its innovative pedagogy, and in the lives of students at Rensselaer.

About Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, founded in 1824, is America’s first technological research university. For nearly 200 years, Rensselaer has been defining the scientific and technological advances of our world. Rensselaer faculty and alumni represent 85 members of the National Academy of Engineering, 17 members of the National Academy of Sciences, 25 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 8 members of the National Academy of Medicine, 8 members of the National Academy of Inventors, and 5 members of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, as well as 6 National Medal of Technology winners, 5 National Medal of Science winners, and a Nobel Prize winner in Physics. With 7,000 students and nearly 100,000 living alumni, Rensselaer is addressing the global challenges facing the 21st century—to change lives, to advance society, and to change the world. To learn more, go to