2018 Competition

Ergonomics Design Competition for Student Teams

The Ergonomics Design Competition for Student Teams provides an ideal opportunity for undergraduate and/or graduate level student teams to get real-world experience while still in school. Faculty Sponsors will also enjoy the competition as a potential substitute semester project. Each competition will teach students to assess, design, and present their solutions to a challenging project in ergonomics. The competition is sponsored by Auburn Engineers, Inc., and enthusiastically supported by the larger applied ergonomics community.


The competition aims to teach students how to manage projects of varying complexity and time frames. Each team will create solutions for a Preliminary Design Project and a separate Final Project, in a compressed timeframe called a Design Charrette. One or more “Lightning Round” projects are also included during the preliminary round of the competition.


To enter the competition, students form and register teams consisting of 3 to 5 students with one faculty sponsor. There is no limit to the number of teams per school that can participate. The team must be comprised of a majority of full time students, and may be any combination of undergraduate and/or graduate students.
Registration requires a $50 fee per team which includes the full access and training to eTools SHOP, project case studies, and our competition support team.

Faculty Support

Each team must have a faculty sponsor. The faculty sponsor serves to ensure compliance with competition rules and will serve as a point of contact with the competition sponsors. The sponsor is not a resource for ergonomics or design.

Preliminary Design Project

The Preliminary Design is a multi-step project such as a tool design, complex workstation design, design of manufacturing cell, product handling device, evaluation of work system, etc. The Preliminary Design takes place on campus and online.

Lightning Rounds

During the time your team is working on the Preliminary Design project, there will be a few opportunities for the teams to earn extra credit by responding to short and entertaining questions regarding ergonomics. For example, the teams might be asked to identify a current product advertisement on commercial television that features ergonomics as a reason to purchase the product, to explain to develop and perform a “rhyming version” of their definition of ergonomics, to explain ergonomics to their Grandparents, or to list ten ergonomics products in their apartment and what is their favorite. You get the picture – fun, easy, and extra points!

Final Design

The Final Design project will be a short (48 hour) design charrette. To meet limited timelines, the teams will be given a less complex design project but one in which solid analysis and design creativity are important. Experience and practice with eTools, as well as with other ergonomics analysis tools will help the team complete this time-sensitive project. At the end of the design charrette, each team will submit its design to the Ergonomics Design Competition Judging Team.

Top Five

Scores from the Preliminary Round, Lightning Rounds, and Final Round will be tallied to determine the Top Five Teams. These teams will be invited to present their work live, via WebEx, to a panel of professional ergonomists. The panel will judge both the team’s work and presentation to determine the final placements.

eTools Prize

The judging panel will select one team as the eTools Prize recipient, who wins an expense-paid trip as our guest to a national ergonomics conference, as well as one-year ownership of the ‘Pat’ Statue, $300 per member, a plaque, and certificates. The panel will also select the eTools Alternate and Honorable Mentions, each winning cash prizes as well.

Auburn Engineers, Inc.

Auburn Engineers, Inc. offers a complete range of ergonomics services designed to enhance an organization’s ergonomics investment. We realize ergonomics experts do not reside within all companies and locations. We offer job hazard analysis, engineering design, and medical case management. For those companies interested in an ergonomics culture, we offer all levels of training, ergonomics program development, and program management. Additionally, we are proud of the value we give in the form of support to the corporate ergonomist. Coast to coast, across the US, Canada, and the world, Auburn Engineers, Inc. is the solution to your ergonomics needs. For more information, go to http://www.ergosite.com.