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Student Design Competition  

What the Competition is About

The Student Design Competition was introduced in the fall of 2004 and culminated at the 2005 SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit in Salt Lake City, UT. It is a two-stage competition involving a technical design stage and an oral presentation stage based on an aggregate mining industry design problem. It was felt that in combining these two categories of a technical solution and an oral presentation provided the basis for most engineering work once the students enter the mining industry. In this way the students can be involved in a “real world” engineering problem and solution prior to graduation. The teams will be judged on presentation skills, creativity, understanding of aggregate mining processes, and thoughtful methodology. 

Penn State - 2009/2010 Competition 

Participants have commented on their experiences:


" matter the outcome of the competition this is a great opportunity to make connections with industry leaders and be part of a fun experience that will perpetuate your career.  The purpose behind the competition is to build relationships and learn how to collaborate with different personalities.  These are the things that you cannot be taught in a classroom, but through experience and this competition embodies that idea."

-Nancy Tracy, Montana Tech



"Do it.  The experience and exposure to a real mining scenario, along with the industry knowledge and contacts you gain from such a unique project as this competition, are invaluable."

-Scott Hutchins, Virginia Tech



2012/2013 Competition - Updated September 23, 2012

The competition has started but there is still time to participate!  Student competitors may look over the rules document below for this year.  Also, any businesses wishing to sponsor the competition can find contact information in the rules document. 


Sponsors2007/2008 Competition Sponsors

This competition could not happen without the dedicated industry that backs it.  Sponsors of the Student Design Competition include numerous mining, construction, and aggregate companies along with many materials and equipment vendors that support the mining and construction industries.  Many thanks to all of the sponsors of the SDC, because without them, this competition would not be possible!

Interested in sponsoring the competition?  Want to see the best and brightest the mining industry has in its next generation?  Then get involved with the Student Design Competition!  Contact SME for information on how to get involved.


Competition Details

Students majoring in mining and mineral engineering, civil engineering, geology, business, or any other field related to the aggregate mining industry may compete. The competition can serve as one of the activities for SME and NSSGA student chapters but will not be limited to those universities sponsoring student chapters. Any university capable of fielding a team of six students is welcome to compete. 

The competition will take place in two stages. The first stage is an on-campus, “set time limit” competition during the fall semester. A faculty advisor, or team coach, will closely monitor each team for rule enforcement and time worked. The purpose of the first stage is to simulate an engineering solution prepared for the chief engineer of a company. Judges selected from the industry will evaluate the written solutions, which will make up 40% of the final score. 

During the second stage, held at the SME Annual Meeting and Exhibit, each team will receive the competition problem at the same time and prepare an oral presentation to a panel of judges describing their solution. The judging panel will also question the team on their solution. The purpose of the second stage is to simulate a presentation to a board of directors. The score from the second stage will reflect 60% of the final score. The top three high scoring teams (combined stage 1 and stage 2 scores) will receive awards for first, second, and third place.


Past Competitions

For those who are new to the competition, prior competition's stage one and stage two problem statements are available for download below.  These problems will provide a good example of the type of work common to the competition; however, current or future problems may differ. 

The winning submissions from the 06/07, 07/08, 09/10, 10/11, and 11/12 competitions are available below.



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