Smart Guitar Design Earns Students Cornell Cup USA Finalist Nomination

Competition for the finalist slots was significant, but a UH College of Technology team's resiliency paid off in their nomination as a finalist for the 2011-2012 Cornell Cup USA. Presented by Intel, the Cornell Cup Cornell Cup USA challenge is a college-level design competition created to empower student teams to become the inventors of the newest innovative applications of embedded technology.

Advised by Dr. Driss Benhaddou, Dr. Jane Yuan, and Dr. Mequanint Moges, the team of Engineering Technology students placed among 23 finalists from notable universities throughout the United States. Jared Gaertner (team leader), Ruben Gomez, Paul Maicah, Nick Nowlin, and Chris Valdez created Audio (G) Fusion, which incorporates the Intel microprocessor into the design of an electric guitar. Using a touchscreen, users may configure audio filters and assign preset buttons to quickly enable or disable it while performing. They will receive $2,500 to develop a prototype using the Tunnel Creek Intel® Atom board.

In its inaugural year, the competition will be an annual academic year-long experience that culminates in an inspiring two-day summit event. Finalist student teams will attend exciting and entertaining talks, network with leading engineering company sponsors, and ultimately showcase their original innovative entries at Walt Disney World in May 2012. At the finals, the top three entries will win grand prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500.

"We are extremely proud about the accomplishments of these students who were chosen for this prestigious competition and have the opportunity to gain design and teamwork skills that most companies today are seeking," said Dean William Fitzgibbon. "We are looking forward to much more good news about how this experience will serve as a competitive advantage for their professional engineering careers."