The BIG Challenge
The BIG Challenge is a monthly student competition to generate novel ideas and innovative ways of solving important problems. The BIG Challenge is hosted by the College of Engineering & Mines, but is open to all UND students. Students will work in teams of two to four and are strongly encouraged to collaborate across multiple disciplines.
Up to two winning teams will be selected at the end of each month and awarded scholarships totaling $2000.
How does it work?
Each month a new challenge will be issued and advertised throughout CEM and across campus. Teams must register their team by the end of the first week. Teams will have access to the Big Ideas Gym in the Collaborative Energy Complex to meet and work on their ideas. At the end of the month, four team finalists will be selected and asked to give a short three minute pitch to a panel of judges and fellow students, who will rate each team based on the following factors:
- Originality (40/100) – How novel is the idea? Has it been done before?
- Potential Impact (20/100) – What is the likelihood that this idea will have a significant financial, social, or environmental impact on the world?
- Presentation (20/100)- How informative, entertaining and inspiring was the pitch presentation?
- Multidisciplinary Approach (20/100) – To what extent does the idea involve tools, concepts, or perspectives from multiple disciplines?
How can you participate?
Be on the lookout for emails and flyers promoting each challenge, form a team, and register in the Dean's Office (Upson II Room 165). The deadline to register is the end of the first week of the challenge month. The following information will be needed at the time of registration:
- The names and majors of all team members
- Contact information for each member
- The name of your team (be creative!)
The BIG Challenge is sponsored by the College of Engineering & Mines, the Jodsaas Center for Engineering Leadership and Entrepreneurship, and the Edson and Margaret Larson Foundation.
Past BIG Challenges
Assistive Technology (AT) bridges the gap between Ability and Disability for many elderly and people with disabilities which allows them to better care for themselves and live independently longer instead of being moved to assisted living residences. These Assistive Technologies help improve abilities ranging from vision, hearing, home safety, mobility, communication, and helping with daily activities for people wanting to stay within their home setting who struggle with many common health problems such as frailty, limited mobility, or mild cognitive and memory issues. Your challenge is to identify a need and propose a Big Idea solution for a new Assistive Technology device focused on Remote Sensing, Smart Devices, or similar.
Half way through the month your team will need to pitch your proposal, with the top teams being selected to give their final presentation to a panel of judges and audience at the end of month to determine who will win the Awards. The winning team will then be provided the opportunity and resources to further develop their idea into a possible prototype, intellectual property, or marketable product to help make their Big Idea into reality.
The BIG challenge is a month-long student competition to come up with an innovative solution, design, device, app, etc. applicable to Campus Parking! Win up to $2,000 awarded to the winning teams. Read about the challenge below and start forming your teams- multidisciplinary teams are suggested, and the competition is open to all class levels. This is an ideation-only proposal design, so it won’t require an invasive time commitment and will be a fun and creative design process without the constraints of typical projects. If you don’t have a team, you can sign up as an alternate and we can try find you a team.
This month’s challenge is sponsored by Bobcat. Your team’s job is to come up with an idea to use unmanned systems to improve the construction site of the future. Your solution may include improvements to safety, efficiency, etc. Do not be limited to those things possible with today’s technology- think BIG and be creative! Final pitch presentations will be held on Sept. 26th and judged by engineers from Bobcat.
Your team needs to come up with an innovative, fun, and realistic approach to improve the educational experience for students in the College of Engineering and Mines. The range of potential topics is broad, but here are a few questions to get you thinking:
- How can we encourage more women or students from other historically underrepresented groups to pursue degrees in engineering, computer science, or geology?
- How can we improve our courses or degree programs to better prepare students for the future?
- How do we better connect distance students to the on-campus UND community?
Do not be limited to those things possible with today’s technology- think BIG and be creative! The registration deadline is Nov. 13th. Final pitch presentations will be held on Nov. 29th and judged by a team of faculty.
This month's challenge is being coordinated with the call for teams to compete in the 4th Global Grand Challenges Summit to be held in London, UK in September. Five teams from the US will be selected to compete against teams from China and the UK. Teams will propose an idea and develop a business model to address one of the following topics (see below for the details):
- Will AI and other transformational technologies change humanity for the better?
- Example topics: equitable access, ethics, health care, neuroscience, extending life, engineering education, automation, employment, genetics, robotics, mental health, unintended consequences, AI bias, secure cyberspace
- Can we sustain 10 billion people?
- Example topics: food, water, energy, waste, circular economy, urbanization, megacities, transport, resources, economic development, VR, health provision, digital enablement for rural dwellers