Students from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville proudly represented the School of Engineering, achieving two first-place finishes and a runner-up award, during the 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) St. Louis Section Black Box competition held Saturday, Nov. 4 at Missouri Science & Technology (S&T), in Rolla, Mo. As a result, SIUE will host the 2018 competition.
SIUE competed against students from Missouri S&T in two categories: analog and digital. Senior Corwin Fritts, of DuQuoin, took first place in the analog competition, winning a $500 prize. Fellow senior Justin Haque, of O’Fallon, earned $300 for his second-place finish.
In the digital category, an SIUE team comprising seniors Tyler Friedel, of Brussels, and Kaleb Cole, of Troy, secured the $500 first place prize.
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 that the teams use to make electrical measurements that help them unravel the mystery of what is inside.
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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.
“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,” said George Engel, DSc, professor in the School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “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.