(This is a continuation of the last post)
Day 1: Welcome
On day one teams where suppose to reach the venue which was College Of Engineering, Pune, with our projects. We then had to register us, find the stall we where allotted.
When we reached the venue we saw the grand arrangements made by the Mitsubishi, as we were near the venue there where lots of hoardings pointing us to the venue and advertising the event. After entry, we got near to the building where the event was supposed to be held there was massive hoarding of the Mitsubishi Electric Cup along the wall of the building, here is the picture we took.
As we enter the building we found some familiar faces of Mitsubishi Team there to meet us, stalls were somewhat standard, the kind you may find in an expo and there we people still working and perfecting the place.
We then were asked to arrange our project on a table for display. We had worked hard to make our system easy to assemble as a feature and also to save time on assembly as sometimes in few competitions we don’t get enough time to assemble the project. We had simply had to hook up power, pipe to the water pump, connect the well labelled interconnects and arrange the setup and we were done! within minutes.
Many or most of the participants were from out of state, coming from all the parts of India, so they had to travel by disassembling their project into small parts to reach there. Thankfully they had a lot of time to do so but many of them had to burn the midnight oil to get the project ready by next morning.
As we were done assembling, we took the liberty of roaming around and looking at the projects there, most of them were huge in size and in comparison our project, we were a bit worried. We found some familiar faces from our training and it was interesting to see their projects, (SPOILER ALERT: Many of them got prizes, we were trained by the best). During that time we also noticed that we were the only team of two personals rest of the teams had the maximum number for personal.
Here are some photos of the project we visited
By the time we where back we were asked to get to the auditorium for the welcome speech from the Mitsubishi’s and COEP heads. It was exciting, especially for me as I was in the same auditorium in my first year of engineering, I was there for another competition called DIPEX. It was a lavish auditorium wooden panel on side great stage and sitting area with huge projectors and cameras. It flooded me with the memories of that competition, that year competition was inaugurated by none other than Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, “Missile Man of India”.
(You can find video of the project I presented in my first year on youtube but it’s in Marathi: Link)
We were welcomed there by the Mitsubishi and gave us a rundown on how things will be going down. We then had lunch there and headed back to our stalls. There we asked to give a basic test on what we had learnt during our training which took most of us just a few minutes. After that, we had dinner which was arranged by the host and then we headed home to get ready for the next day.
Day 2: Stunning revelation
Next day when we came back to the COEP we were stunned to see the projects which were assembled after we had left yesterday, we could now see the efforts the students have put into the competition, and this is what makes this competition so great. Few teams had to work all night to get the project ready by the morning and their hard work was noticeable.
Last night we had practised hard to get our presentation right, we set few goals for our presentation as selling your project is also very important. One of our goals was to make the presentation as simple as possible, being engineers we have a tendency to run down specs and throw lots of stats to prove the worthiness of our project, which we made sure to avoid. But we knew there will be engineers too, so we put up our research paper on the wall for engineers to dig deeper. We kept our presentation short and made a list of specs which we thought will resonate with the people and make them understand our project well, let me give you an example one of our features was manufacturing cost of our sensors was less than 10 Rupees, hearing this made peoples faces glow as they understood the impact of the project. We run through our list to see what works and what didn’t work. By the time of the main presentation, we were armed with a presentation which had evenly spaced jaw-dropping features which kept the judges interested in what we have to say until the end.
Judges were divided into four groups, who visited us during our presentation with the visitors to see our project working it was done over a span of two days. When the first group of judges came we didn’t have our presentation down as they visited us very early but after that, it became easier and easier. It is easy to say “it became easier and easier”, in retrospect but we were under constant pressure then, we could see that we are going great but keeping our nerves calm was hard.
By the end of the second day, we were visited by all four groups of judges.
Mitsubishi had arranged a cultural event for us to relax, it was performances by the students of COEP, we enjoyed it a lot and here are few photos of the program.
Day 3: The day
We then also had to go through the final interview where there were all the judges were present in front of us to see our presentation and ask any questions they may have for us.
Again COEP had a great setup and our presentation was on the screen even before we set foot in the room, the whole process was smooth and well planned. As we entered we saw all the judges at a glance, my heart jumped a little, after a brief “how to” on operating the slide controller by a COEP student we had all the attention.
“I have seen this before, I have been here before”, I remembered. The room was the same room where I took classes for embedded programming lessons from a COEP professor. It was a bit relaxing. Judges were setting on the farthest end of the long oval shaped table, there were almost 12 – 15 judges waiting for us to start.
After easing into the presentation and jumping between me and my partner in explanation of the project we were at ease. Our tried and tested catch phrases work well and kept the judges interested, we could see their faces glow when they understood and connect with our project. After few technical question rest of the Q&A session was a discussion of what they liked about our project and how we can take this project further, this showed us that they understood our project and we sold our project well.
After that rest of the day was relaxing we were judged by all the teams of judges and now judges were visiting remaining teams for their evaluation. Visitors from many reputed companies visited our stall, one notable person visited us were Mr M V Kotwal, a retired member of the L&T Board & President Heavy Engineering. He liked our project and asked us to visit him at his residence to implement this project in his farmland. We also were visited by many Japanese delegates from Mitsubishi Electric Japan.
In the evening we were all gathered back in the auditorium for the results of the competition, we were getting more and more anxious by the minute about the result, we were sitting in the auditorium waiting for the judges to distribute prices and then we were called on the stage we received the 3rd price which ranks us 6th in the competition. After informing our families and lots of selfies, we started packing said our goodbyes to friends we made there.
We were appreciated a lot by our college by publishing our achievement in newspaper and college magazine.
Here are few Cutouts
We were kindly allowed to keep the project with us for our final year project where we got almost full marks in the project after the project exam was over we returned the PLC, HMI and other components back to Mitsubishi.
It was one of the best experience which we could have got as students and I highly recommend anyone to participate in it.
Until next time cheers!