Upcoming Events:

Design Innovation Competition

Theme: Assistive Technology for neurological and/or orthopedic disabilities


Kickoff Meeting: Wednesday, September 29, 2021, from 5:30-6:30 PM, Benton Hall Lobby
Idea Exchange: Friday, October 1, 2021, at 5:30 PM, location TBD
Proposal Due: Thursday, October 7, 2021, at 5 PM
Finalists Notified: Thursday, October 14, 2021, via email
First Check-In: Monday, November 1, 2021 (tentative)
Second Check-In: Monday, February 7, 2022 (tentative)
Presentation of Project: Thursday, April 28, 2022


Prizes awarded to the top team.

Note: A minimum participation of three teams is required for the awarding of the 1st place price.


Eligibility: All enrolled Miami University undergraduate students are eligible to participate.

Teams: There is no limit to the number of team members, but each team must include at least one student from CEC and one student from an academic division other than CEC. Prior teams have included students from kinesiology, gerontology, speech and hearing, business, marketing, finance, interactive media studies, and other related disciplines. Interdisciplinary teams are strongly encouraged, as judging will include aspects of software/prototype completeness, business plan, and market analysis. Teams will have a faculty advisor.

Registration: Teams should register to indicate their intent to participate in the challenge on the MUCAT Canvas page by joining a design group. To gain access to the MUCAT Canvas page please complete the following MUCAT Design Innovation general information survey.

Phase 1: Teams will submit a design proposal (3-page max, includes: team composition, problem definition, need justification, and preliminary idea with its innovative contribution highlighted). Each team is encouraged to consult with MUCAT and potential faculty advisors.

Phase 2: Judges will select five (5) teams as finalists. Each finalist team will be provided a $500 budget to develop a prototype (and business model) for their project. All purchases using the $500 budget requires the approval of MUCAT.

Presentation: Each finalist team will showcase their designs through a presentation. A completed prototype and a poster are required for the Design Presentation. Competition judges will attend the event and score teams based on their presentations and prototypes. The top teams will be announced after the Design Presentation.

Judging Criteria

The winner of the competition will be the team that has the highest aggregate score in the following categories:

  • Potential value of the idea (size of the market, potential size of enterprise)
  • Thoroughness of design process
  • Completeness of prototype
  • Sustainability of business plan


Develop a prototype for the proposed design and show how it would work and be used. This prototype can be a simplification of proposed design, but steps to refining and improving the design for a scalable implementation would be needed. The prize will only be awarded to teams with a working prototype.

Poster Instructions

Posters for the Design Expo should highlight the problem definition, design solution, and process:

  • Background: Summarize the design and its objective.
  • Market Analysis: Justification of market need and possible market size.
  • Design Process: Discuss your design process by including the following:
    • Identify the alternative options considered during the design process and a justification for the selected technology, approach, and/or process with a particular focus on its appropriateness to the local community and culture.
    • Provide details of the conceptual design, analysis, and final design. Design calculations or an explanation may be included, appropriate to the level of team experience.
    • Identify schedules and detailed design, construction, and maintenance costs associated with the completion and construction of the design.
  • Justification & Reasoning: Identify how the selected design is appropriate to the social, environmental, economic, and cultural context of the community.
  • Results and Future: Discuss ethics, long-term sustainability, and maintenance of engineering design and business plan.
  • References: Outline the details of any external support provided to the design team and identify any content that is not attributable to the design team.

Participation in Canvas Page

MUCAT has a dedicated Canvas page which will be used for this competition. The page will allow you to learn more about the competition, discuss ideas with others interested, and aid in the development of teams. To gain access to this page please scan the QR code or complete the MUCAT Design Competition general information survey.

QR code for MUCAT Design Competition general information survey