First Engineering Innovate-O-Thon held at Notre Dame and via Zoom

Innovate-o-thon participants standing in front of sign for competition

Students competed in the first Notre Dame Engineering Innovate-O-Thon, a 24-hour innovation challenge. Teams convened to strategize, conceptualize and present a prototype solution to an engineering challenge proposed by Marmon Holdings, Inc., a global industrial organization based in Chicago.

The event kicked off at 7 p.m. on Friday, October 2, when the mystery challenge was revealed: engineer a new product to meet a real-world market need identified by Marmon. Teams then went to work well into the night on ideation and concept development.

At hour 13 into the challenge, students pitched the first-round solutions to Marmon executives (via Zoom). They then took the feedback they received and got back to work for another 11 hours of tweaking and fine-tuning.

The evening of Saturday, October 3, teams presented their final pitches and digital prototypes to Marmon. Each team had 10 minutes to present and defend their solutions followed by 5 minutes for Q&A.

Three teams were awarded a $1K prize by Marmon in these categories: Best Design (awarded to Team 816), Best Communication (awarded to Team Dallas Dinos) and Best Team Work (awarded to Team Kuku).

The event was organized in collaboration with the Notre Dame Engineering Innovation Hub, the advanced manufacturing facility currently under construction on the first floor of Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering.

With an anticipated opening in 2021, the Engineering Innovation Hub will be filled with high-tech tools, manufacturing stations, assembly and collaboration spaces, and computing resources for students, faculty, and the regional manufacturing community. The Engineering Innovation Hub will prepare Notre Dame students to devise novel solutions to practical and meaningful problems. Students will have the space and resources to take product solutions from concept to realization.

About Marmon Holdings, Inc.
Marmon Holdings, a Berkshire Hathaway company, is a global industrial organization comprising 11 diverse business sectors and more than 100 autonomous manufacturing and service businesses.

— Leslie Lestinsky, College of Engineering