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Winners of Design, Education, Activity, and Research Competition Announced

Four groups of UT students have been named winners in the Design, Education, Activity, and Research (DEAR) competition and will be receiving a monetary prize up to $750 during a ceremony in January.

The Tickle College of Engineering, in collaboration with the College of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Chattanooga, and the Department of Engineering at UT Martin hosted the UT system-wide competition that challenged students to create videos that showed what college life is like at UT. The videos had to involve design, education, activity, and research events using virtual reality technology.

The competition was open to all undergraduate and graduate students at the UT Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Martin campuses.

The winners by category are:


Project: 3D Printed Drone

DEAR design team in front of campus buildingTeam members and majors: Brandon Meadows (aerospace engineering), Angelica Rose Nepomuceno (information sciences), Elizabeth Paschal (computer science), Gage Erwin (physics), and Kai-Estes Lumpkin (nuclear engineering)

Campus: Knoxville


Project: Virtual reality demonstration of a hybrid manufacturing work cell for fabrication of large-scale metal parts

VR competition education groupTeam members and majors: Ethan Vals (mechanical engineering), Josh Penney (mechanical engineering), Aaron Cornelius (mechanical engineering), Leah Jacobs (mechanical engineering), and Michael Buckley (mechanical engineering)

Campus: Knoxville


Project: The Rock VR

DEAR competition activity winnersTeam members and majors: Harrison Hoytt (computer science), Christian Rees (environmental studies)

Campus: Knoxville



Project: VIGOR—A Versatile, Individualized, and Generative Orchestrator

DEAR research groupTeam members and majors: Rizwaan Abdul (computer science), Deimer Ordonez (computer science), Ian Powers (computer science), and Kristen Hanson (criminal justice and computer science)

Campus: Chattanooga


The DEAR competition was sponsored by the One UT Collaboration and Innovation Grant entitled “Growing Access to Mathematics, Engineering, Science (GAMES).” The organizing committee includes Assistant Professor Amir Sadovnik (Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs Ozlem Kilic (Tickle College of Engineering), Associate Professor Kevin Kit (Department of Materials Science and Engineering), Assistant Department Head and Clinical Professor Kristin Rearden (Department of Theory and Practice in Teacher Education), Academic Support Specialist Michael Allen, Associate Professor Dalei Wu (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UTC), and Professor Xiaopeng Zhao (Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering). Zhao, Sadovnik, Allen, Kit, and Professor Cary Staples (College of Architecture and Design) served on the review team.

A second competition is planned for 2022.