UNC Charlotte Precision Engineers Win 2019 ASPE Student Challenge

Monday, November 11, 2019

For the second year in a row, a team mechanical engineering graduate students from the Lee College of Engineering’s precision engineering program has won the Student Challenge competition at the American Society of Precision Engineering’s annual conference.

The 2019 ASPE conference was held Oct. 28 through Nov. 1 in Pittsburg, PA. The UNC Charlotte team members were Kumar Arumugam, Alexander Blum, Jacob Cole and Kristen Venditti. Their advisor was Dr. Joshua Tarbutton. The team was named first place overall, and won the Uncertainty Vanquished Award for having the closest measurement.

The ASPE Student Challenge is a multi-disciplinary precision engineering project drawing students from mechatronics, optics, metrology, engineering and physics. The Student Challenge is held annually, and students participating get to attend the ASPE conference for free.

For 2019, teams had to design and build an instrument to measure the conventional mass of unknown samples, and report the estimated mass and the uncertainty associated with the measurement.

The measurement principle used was Lorentz force equations, which is the same principle used recently in Watt balance (or Kibble balance) experiments for redefining the kilogram using Planck's constant .

The team’s poster explaining their design is here.