Design Challenge

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MIT-UTC Systems Integration Certificate Gears Up for Second Class

August 29, 2002

There is no better way to kick off the start of the MIT-UTC Systems Integration Certificate’s second year than with a good, clean Design Challenge. Divided into three teams, the 17 engineers in the program, who represented various divisions at UTC, were assigned the task of creating a functional and fully wired LEGO-made robot. This event, which was held on August 15, 2002, served as a segue for the yearlong program.

“Our individual rewards, by and large, came from the learning in process rather than whether we could sell a gazillion space robots,” said Rich Peruggi, a member of Team 3 and Principal Engineer at Otis Elevator. “For me, the greatest learning I came away with was in the ability to develop a camaraderie with a new group of people with different personalities and technical backgrounds.”

The program, which was created to address UTC’s need to establish a system engineering core competency across the corporation, consists of three courses taken at a distance (System Architecture, System Engineering, and Product Design and Development), 10 days of workshops at both MIT and UTC locations, and a year-long capstone project which integrates all parts of the program.

“The Design Challenge was a great success this year, with each team fielding a competitive entry,” said Cliff Whitcomb, the Learning Director for the program. “The purpose of the event is to build a cohort, provide some teaming challenges and experience team dynamics, and to prove that they can do quite a bit in a short time frame. They get to take a project from assignment of mission requirements to completion in three days – something they probably don’t get to do at work.”

Team #1 was the overall champion, but all teams did exceptionally well, said Whitcomb. Below are some highlights of the UTC Design Challenge 2002: