AU wireless engineering students awarded first place and $10,000 in design challenge

Team members (left to right): Kevin Harwood, Steven Routh, Ryan Northington
Team members (left to right): Kevin Harwood, Steven Routh, Ryan Northington

AUBURN – A team from Auburn University’s wireless engineering program placed first for North America and received $10,000 in the Cypress Innovator Design Challenge for their design of innovative scoring systems for fencing matches.

Cypress Semiconductor Corp. initiated its University Alliance Program design competition to enable students who design with the company’s technology to compete regionally for awards for innovation. For this challenge students had to find a new way to use a Cypress technology known as Programmable System-on-Chip, or PSoC, a technology found in many popular consumer products such as MP3 players, cell phones, laptop computers and appliances.

The competition is a multi-discipline engineering design contest open to all undergraduate and graduate engineering students enrolled at an accredited university. Designs created for this competition that show promise for commercial use will be analyzed by the Cypress Investment team for possible seed funding.

“This is quite an honor, and I believe it reflects the outstanding quality of our students in the wireless engineering program,” said Vic Nelson, professor and assistant head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at AU.

Nelson, along with Richard Chapman, AU associate professor in electrical and computer engineering, taught the joint senior design class in which the winning students created their design. The professors will receive another $10,000 donation for the department and plan to use it to fund other student projects.

The six regions of the world represented in this competition are North America; Europe and the Middle East; China; Japan and Korea; India; and Southeast Asia and other parts of the world. All regional first place winners will receive an interview with Cypress concerning potential internships, co-ops or full-time employment positions.

To learn more about Cypress or the Innovation Design Challenge, visit .

Contact: Lauren Hall, (334) 844-5284 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (