Students compete in the IEEE Saint Louis Section Black Box competition held at SIUE.EDWARDSVILLE - Three teams of engineering students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville represented the School of Engineering proudly, when they earned two second place spots and one third place award at the 2016 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) Saint Louis Section Black Box competition held Saturday, Nov. 5.

As last year’s winner, SIUE hosted the competition. Several schools participated in the annual event, with student teams competing within two categories: analog and digital.

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Students competing in the analog category are given an analog circuit enclosed in a “black box” and are asked to draw the electrical schematic of the circuit inside. The box contains only four terminals which the teams use to make electrical measurements that help them unravel the mystery of what is inside. In the digital contest, students are given a programmable logic device with a pre-programmed circuit. They observe the behavior of the circuit and then try to draw a schematic for the “mystery” design.

Winners in the analog contest included senior Justin Haque, of O’Fallon, and junior Corwin Fritts, of DuQuoin, who took second place with a $300 prize. Seniors and Belleville natives Kristen Collins and Peter Weigel earned third place and $200. In the digital category, junior Nathan Counts, of Troy, and senior Oren Pincock, of Edwardsville, took the third place prize.

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“I was delighted by the performance of our student teams, however more important to me was the fact that of the six universities in the section, only SIUE and Missouri Science and Technology fully participated in the competition, each sending three teams to the competition,” George Engel, PhD, professor in the School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

“Contests like this enhance the ability of students to perform reverse engineering tasks when they are out in the workforce, and it gives our students a chance to interact with others from great institutions. Participation in a student contest creates lifelong memories and creates a bond between the student and the professional society that often lasts for life.”

The IEEE is comprised of engineers, scientists and students. It is one of the largest professional organizations for engineers in the world.

The SIUE School of Engineering offers one of the most comprehensive and affordable engineering programs in the St. Louis region with eight undergraduate degrees, five master’s degrees and two cooperative doctoral programs, all housed in a state-of-the-art facility. Students learn from expert faculty, perform cutting-edge research, and participate in intercollegiate design competitions. Companies in the metropolitan St. Louis area provide students challenging internships and co-op opportunities, which often turn into permanent employment. All undergraduate programs are accredited by their respective accreditation agencies.

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