Texas Tech University

Team of Engineering Students Take Top Honors at IAM3D Challenge

George Watson

September 1, 2015

The engineering students earned Best Overall Design honors for their prototype development in the area of low-temperature saltwater desalination.

A team of six Texas Tech University students from the Department of Mechanical Engineering recently captured top honors at the Innovative Additive Manufacturing 3D (IAM3D) Challenge in Boston.

The Texas Tech students – Jerred Tochterman, Taylor Cychowski, Brock Tittle, Taylor McClung, Richard Reyna and team leader Shaun Foreman, earned Best Overall Design for their prototype in the international competition. Their prototype and research into low-temperature saltwater desalination has drawn interest from both the additive manufacturing industry as well as the U.S. Department of Defense due to its array of applications in high water stress.

“It's a great honor to be recognized for our research efforts over the last year,” Foreman said. “We had a uniquely talented team this year and our adviser, Dr. Jeff Hanson, is hands-down one of the most devoted faculty members I've ever worked with. More than 3.4 million people died last year from lack of access to safe drinking water. Our desalination research has a real potential to save lives.”

More than 120 teams participated in the competition, which was created to allow students to design and display new, innovative products intended to solve real-world problems using three-dimensional (3D) technology.

The teams and their designs were on the product's business case, innovation, feasibility and presentation.

The top 15 teams presented their designs during the 2015 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) International Design and Engineering with Additive Manufacturing 3D Printing Conference, where the team from Texas Tech was chosen the winner.

“This is another example illustrating that our faculty and staff provide an outstanding education to our students, which in turn produces some of the best engineers in the country,” said Al Sacco Jr., dean of the Whitacre College of Engineering.

It is the fifth international title the Whitacre College of Engineering has earned under the guidance of Hanson, who has served as the faculty adviser for the ASME competition since 2009.