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Products for hockey, shelter, win engineering design competition

Undergraduate students with the prototype of their Automatic Goalie Trainer

Undergrads Austin Gilbertson, Austin Lemens, Dan Mueller, Nate Rogers and Dave Suehs took the first-place prize of $2,500 for their Automatic Goalie Trainer.  

Under the right circumstances, the undergraduate student teams that won a University of Wisconsin-Madison engineering design competition can either help protect a family from the elements or a hockey team from a scoring play.

In the EMA/ME Design Competition, held December 14 on the UW-Madison engineering campus, students Austin Gilbertson, Austin Lemens, Dan Mueller, Nate Rogers and Dave Suehs took the first-place prize of $2,500 for their Automatic Goalie Trainer.

Currently, when hockey goalies practice, coaches or players must manually shoot pucks at the goalie—a method limited by the shooters' endurance, speed and accuracy. The Automatic Goalie Trainer continuously and accurately shoots hockey pucks at the goalie, and coaches can rotate and tilt the trainer to challenge goalies with shots in various locations. It can hold and rapidly shoot up to 15 pucks.

The team refined its design with feedback from Jeff Sanger, a UW-Madison volunteer assistant men's hockey coach and former goaltender at Colorado College, and Brian Brooke, a goaltender at Notre Dame. "The judges were impressed that the Automatic Goalie Trainer team worked so hard with the Badger hockey team and its coaches," says Frederick Elder, a UW-Madison adjunct professor of engineering physics and mechanical engineering and the competition co-coordinator. "They felt this demonstrated the students understood the importance of listening to the customer." 

Undergraduate students with the prototype of the Badger Sett

Undergrads Lyndsey Bankers, Grayson Butler, Joe Jaeckels, Julie Mason and Katie Wichman earned both the $1,000 second-place prize and the $500 people's choice award for the Badger Sett.

Students Lyndsey Bankers, Grayson Butler, Joe Jaeckels, Julie Mason and Katie Wichman earned both the $1,000 second-place prize and the $500 people's choice award for the Badger Sett, an alternative to the tents or FEMA trailers that currently shelter disaster victims. It has a fabric structure—complete with collapsible chairs, a table and four inflatable beds—that can inflate to 11 by 17 feet and can provide temporary shelter for up to four people displaced by disaster. The students designed the waterproof shelter so that workers could set it up in an hour. It comes with a variety of optional interior features, including a heat pump for heating and cooling, electrical outlets and LED strip lighting.

The competition, which encourages students to think broadly about product design, manufacturing and sales, is held annually in December and includes UW-Madison undergraduates who are majoring in engineering mechanics and astronautics and mechanical engineering. During the competition, they display working prototypes of their designs and deliver an oral presentation to a panel of distinguished alumni judges. Sponsors include Hamilton Sundstrand, UW-Madison engineering alumna Mary Baker of ATA Engineering, and Baraboo Tent and Awning.

Learn more about the competition here.

Renee Meiller
12/20/2011