2016 Results

Over 70 students participated in the Forum’s ninth annual Engineers Week Student Competition, “Phil It Up,” held on February 24, 2016. The problem supplied by Fluor Corporation was stated as…

The Banaue Rice Terraces (referred to as The Eighth Wonder of the World) were carved into the Philippine mountains of Cordillera, Northern Island of Luzon. It is believed that it was built 2000 years ago. Locals still plant rice and vegetables there today. It is commonly thought that they were built by hand and with minimal equipment. The terraces are fed by an ancient irrigation system from the rain forests above the terraces. To this date, constant problems occur such as gradual erosion and drought on the Banaue. To conserve this ancient marvel, you are tasked to create an irrigation system that will simulate the irrigation or flow of water on the levels of the terraces. You will be tasked to irrigate the multi-layer terraces. Office materials will be used to create an irrigation model to successfully irrigate all levels (water collecting basins) of the terraces.

The event sponsored in part by the Fluor Corporation gave the same challenge to its engineers on the same day at its facilities around the world. The competition’s main sponsor is the Rice Global Engineering & Construction Forum and Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering. Rice is the only academic institution that took part in the challenge.

The students, who didn’t have to be engineering majors to enter, did not know what the task would be before arriving for the competition, but quickly became immersed in a flurry of problem solving. With limited time to plan, construct and demonstrate their solutions, all under the watchful eyes of judges, the teams raced the clock and each other.

The lively competition was followed by pizza and soft drinks which were thoroughly enjoyed by competitors and judges alike. Judges from companies sponsoring the Forum participated in the event. Prizes awarded were for First, Second, Third, Fourth and Fifth places. Members of student team Natalie and the MechEs won $200 each by placing first with a score of 644,943.48; Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men claimed second place money of $150 each with 588,584.38; Team Sniper Sqwad placed third with 571,486.35 to win $125 each; team Team GreEnergy was fourth with 441,146.84 to win $100 each; and the Rice Poopcleaners placed fifth with 387,034.93 to win $75 each. To view photos from the event, click here.

1st Place Team: Natalie and the MechEs

2nd Place Team: Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men

3rd Place Team: Sniper Sqwad

4th Place Team: Team GreEnergy

5th Place Team: Rice Poopcleaners