By  Russell Waddell, MTConnect Product Manager


MTConnect Student Challenge Idea Creation winners announced

Can a $35 computer be the key to helping manufacturers join the industrial digital revolution? As the winning submission for the MTConnect Student Challenge idea creation competition shows, it just might be.

Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, N.C.) student Alexander Lee’s winning submission proposed the use of a Raspberry Pi single-board computer as an MTConnect adapter to monitor a machine’s overall equipment effectiveness, utilizing the Python programming language to visualize the data that comes from the machine.

“I’m part of a generation that grew up with the internet, and it was something that was just there. But if you enter a factory today, it feels like the manufacturing industry kind of missed out on the whole internet revolution,” said Lee. “A lot of millennials are entering the workforce, and they are enthusiastic to introduce these types of new and innovative ideas.”

Lee took home $5,000 and joined a roster of other competition finalists (in order of their finish):

  • Steven Hearndon, Clemson – “MTMonitor (IFTTT Channel)” ($2,500 winner)
  • Zach DeSmit and Patrick Good, Virginia Tech – “Cyber-Attack Detection” ($1,000 winner)
  • Maxwell Micali, U.C. Berkeley – “Extracting Design from Data Streams” ($1,000 winner)
  • Ilya Kovalenko and Miguel Saez, Michigan – “Multi-Agent Control of Manufacturing Systems” ($1,000 winner)

The MTConnect Student Challenge is sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T) and executed by the U.S. Army Benét Labs, the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM), by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association.

Student Challenge continues with Application Development Competition

The Ideas Challenge is complete, but the next competition is ongoing. The challenge continues through July 15 with the ongoing Application Development competition. Winning submissions are eligible for a share of $22,500 in cash prizes. 

Competition information is available at

MTConnect Technical Advisory Group

The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for MTConnect meets quarterly to coordinate development on the MTConnect standards and gather input from industry.

Membership is required to participate in the TAG; learn more or join at

Upcoming TAG Meetings

July 12-13, 2016
Web meeting – Hosted by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology

October 5-6, 2016
Everett, Wash. – Hosted by OMAC