A water filtration system for rural farmers in India. A vertical underground parking system that charges electric vehicles and generates power through solar panels. A lightweight multi-functional prosthetic leg that allows the wearer to walk, climb stairs, sit and do basic movements in a way that is natural and cost effective. What do all of these designs have in common?
They are all prize winning projects from 2021 and 2022, envisioned by students participating in the annual Project of the Year (POTY) design challenge, sponsored by Dassault Systèmes.
What is POTY?
POTY was launched in 2012 as a global competition designed for students to showcase their designs, have fun while developing 3D and modeling skills and to stand out in a crowded and competitive job market. What began as a four-month challenge, it has been expanded to run an entire year for 2023-2024, beginning now, with winners announced in June 2024.
This year’s theme is sustainability, challenging students to envision sustainable designs that can improve our lives.
Students create their projects using a free one-year student license for the 3DEXPERIENCE platform and CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, 3DEXCITE and SIMULIA. They can enter easily by signing up here and submitting an individual project on their own or as part of a team, or as part of a class assignment, as many schools and professors participate by integrating the competition into a final classroom project.
There are seven different categories to compete in: Sustainability, the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, CATIA, SOLIDWORKS, 3DEXCITE, SIMULIA and a most popular project award category. There are multiple chances to win fun prizes like Microsoft Surface laptops and Nintendo Switch game consoles among others. Entries are judged by a panel of Dassault Systèmes employees, except for the most popular award, which is judged by contestants.
It’s easy to participate, too. Students simply register online to receive a one-year student license, and submit their entry by June for consideration.
Benefits for students, academic institutions and teachers
Last year, more than 400 students submitted over 283 projects from 107 universities in 38 countries participated with 17 winners announced. In a constantly-changing world full of challenges and opportunities, imaginative students with a talent for technology can benefit from access to a dedicated place to practice mechanical engineering, simulation, robotics, mechatronics and systems engineering, while working to shape a more sustainable future.
Students love the opportunity to show their passion and creativity through experienced-based learning, while teachers build the classroom of the future, using state-of-the-art technology to help their students build the skills of tomorrow while gaining recognition for their creativity and innovation. Dassault Systèmes is proud to foster the adoption of our platform by academic institutions. We know that this easily implemented contest will motivate students with no extra work for their teachers, in fact, many use the Project of the Year challenge as a final project for their courses.Céline CHEDRU-GUIGAN
Director of Marketing, 3DEXPERIENCE Edu
There are many reasons for students to participate, including an opportunity to showcase originality and innovation and becoming more competitive in the job market. And the good news is, students don’t have to start projects from scratch – they can submit a favorite individual or school project and win a prize!
Global competition, global visibility
As a student at Dr. D.Y. Patil College of Engineering, Pranav Teckchandani of Pune, India, won a Nintendo Switch prize in the popular project award category in 2021 for designing a water cleaning, or scrubbing column for biogas upgradation (removing unhealty solids).
Cooking with fossil fuels used in inefficient stoves with poor ventilation is still a common practice, especially among rural households in India, and biogas is a promising clean energy solution for reducing smoke. Clean technologies is one of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, as it is estimated that 2.8 billion people still lack access to clean cooking fuels and technologies.
Just a few short years later, Teckchandani is a programmer at Cognizant – an American multinational information technology services and consulting company – and says participating in the international competition “really helped my career.”
“It was really great to brag about,” he said, adding, “Also, I made some great friends!”
The project, which required skills in fluid simulation and mechanical component designing, brought his technical skills to a higher level, while also helping him improve time management and critical thinking skills, he said.
“We improved efficiency over a previous manual process, from 60% to around 95% to 98%, (reduction of volatile solids) Teckchandani said.
Even now, participation in Project of the Year continues to impact his career trajectory, Teckchandani says. “I can say the project has built up such positivity in myself that I want to do and achieve more. I want to grow. The project made me want to achieve more in my life.”
Prize winning designs look great on a resume
With increasing competition in the job market, Project of the Year offers students an opportunity to develop marketable skills using the most advanced software and solutions available. And, it offers teachers access to Dassault Systèmes industry-leading technology.
Carole Chevrot, professor of mechanical and production engineering at the University Institute of Technology of Mantes and Yvelines in Saint-Quentin, France, holds a degree in mechanical and production engineering, and has experience teaching with Dassault Systèmes solutions, including SOLIDWORKS, which she first used as a student of mechanical and production engineering, then as a professor for teaching design.
I started as a student with CATIA V4, then during my first years of high school teaching with SOLIDWORKS. The use of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform began in 2015 with professional license student projects in a Methodology and Innovation in Collaborative Design class. Since 2021, we have exclusively used the 3DEXPERIENCE platform with all students.
“I have almost always worked with Dassault Systèmes solutions,” she said. Using Dassault Systèmes solutions in the classroom exposes her students to real world design and manufacturing issues, so they can test and simulate and improve their designs.
Her third-year students have participated in the Project of the Year, choosing projects at the beginning of the year from a list of suggested options or from their own ideas. “We tell them if it suits us, or if we need to add things, or if we consider it too ambitious,” she said. “The goal is for them to be really passionate about their theme and to invest 200% in it”
Imagination, creativity, powerful technology and knowledge offer endless possibilities
“A big advantage of using the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is that they can install it at home, and there are some who work from home to be sure to arrive at the result. In the end, we always have good surprises,” said Carol Chevrot. The platform also allows for collaborative work among team members and joint innovation as they gain skills in 3D design, engineering, simulation, manufacturing and more.
And the students are invested.
Last year, one team worked on a model of the Eiffel Tower, modifying the existing structure’s first and second floors, modeling an elevator and integrating virtual reality using Dassault Systèmes CATIA Creative Design Experience.
Another team of five students modeled a cable car for the Beauval Zoo in Saint-Aignan, Loir-et-Cher, France to provide transportation between the lion and the elephant pavilions. The team produced an animated video and a motorized model showing how cars would transport zoo visitors overhead, and the project also included virtual reality simulation.
The value of participating in Project of the Year is that it offers students unlimited possibilities for the future of their work, Chevrot said. Additionally, it offers creative solutions for academics with heavy course loads.
“Sometimes I am frustrated because I don’t have the opportunity to dig into things that might interest me, which are things of the future,” she said. “We have to find exercises that aren’t too complicated that can put things in perspective, and can help reveal new possibilities. The 3DExperience platform is a rich solution. It’s more than software. It goes beyond that. It is multiware.”
Will your students be among those participating?
Dassault Systèmes provides the opportunity. The only limit is their imagination. Check out last year’s winners here.
Check out all of our 3DEXPERIENCE Edu offerings for students, academic institutions and training organizations here.