Skip to main content

Two BYU Students Snag Spots in ASME/SME Competition's Final Eight

For the first time in BYU Engineering history, two students qualified to compete in the final round of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers Student Manufacturing Design Competition.

The 2021 American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (ASME/SME) Student Manufacturing Design Competition offers manufacturing students the opportunity to create and present new innovations. It also seeks to enrich the manufacturing community with fresh ideas on design. While it only offers eight spots for the final round, both graduate BYU students, Andrew Eyring and JT Frandsen, secured the chance to compete for first place at the end of June.

BYU has never sent more than one student to the finals, and the recent outcome has been thrilling. “It was really neat to see that with students recognized around the country, we saw two of them picked out to be in this top eight,” Associate Professor Yuri Hovanski said. “I’m excited because on the 22nd we’re going to see where they fit within that top eight.”

Digital twins create a digital representation of the physical element. The dice sorter helps demonstrate the advantageous use of Eyring's digital twin when making predictions relating to the sorting and production of a factory.

Eyring and Frandsen will compete among students from schools such as University of Southern California, University of Texas Dallas, University of Florida, and others that had a student selected. As fellow cougars and friends, both Eyring and Frandsen enjoy the chance to work alongside one another for their upcoming presentations. “Andrew and I feel supported because we can prepare together, we can submit our slides together, celebrate together,” Frandsen said.

Although their projects relate in the use of digital twins, they differ in other ways. Eyring submitted his graduate project, “Analysis of a Closed-Loop Digital Twin,” which makes futuristic predictions based on a connection to live data taken by a machine. He uses a dice demonstrator as an example for his model, analyzing the data from sorting and production. Overall, Eyring’s device offers general applications to many problems in the industry.

“It’ll be exciting to see how other people receive what we are doing,” Eyring said, talking about the relevancy of their projects. “If we go there and we win, it’s even more of a recognition that what we are doing is influential and beneficial to manufacturing.”

Frandsen, who recently started pursuing his graduate degree, looks forward to the chance to get his name out to the public. His innovation “UR Cobot Digital Twins to Assist SMEs with Robot Integration'' uses augmented reality to help small businesses automate their factories with ease and precision. Frandsen’s device loads a digital image of the robot and creates a realistic depiction of sizing and placement within a given space, so manufacturing companies can decide on machines and their location before making their purchase.

Frandsen's project gives factories a "try and buy" option when purchasing their equipment. His digital twin simply creates a realistic view of the digitized machine or robot in the prospective area that it may be located, allowing for any adjustments to be made beforehand.

The smart manufacturing tools and curriculum at BYU served as an advantage to Eyring and Frandsen as they developed their projects. “I feel like I wouldn’t have been able to have done anything like this if it wasn’t for the environment of BYU and specifically Dr. Hovanski’s vision,” Frandsen said, continuing on to state that the opportunities provided at BYU would be difficult to find at another university.

Presentations occur virtually on Tuesday, June 22 and the prize winners will be determined that same day by the judges. Judging is based on creativity and integrity of the analysis and test approach. Until then, Eyring and Frandsen will continue to modify their projects and presentations, in an attempt to influence the manufacturing community.