Breadboard wins Engineering Design Showcase

Team Breadboard

Team Breadboard got to ride into the sunset in style with $5,000 in its collective pocket after winning the top prize in this year's George R. Brown Engineering Design Showcase. Fortunately, the hands-free electric longboard they designed and built is well-lit, so other riders and drivers could watch them go. 

The showcase, which features student engineering projects primarily built at Rice University's Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, was held in person for the first time in three years on April 21, and for the first time at Rice’s Waltrip Indoor Training Center.

Winning the Woods-Leazar Innovation Award for Excellence in Engineering was a nice way to cap a challenging year, said the seniors.

"We knew we came here with something good, but coming out with the biggest award, the best award, feels phenomenal," said team member Tristan Mansfield.

"Especially after these last few weeks," added Andrew Xavier. "We've been spending so much time. We'd be the only team in the OEDK at 5 a.m."

They and Robert Chen are electrical engineering majors. Team members Will Coben and Chris Hong are mechanical engineering majors. You'll be able to read more about the Breadboard longboard in an upcoming Rice News story.

Other awards worth an additional $13,250 went to teams in a host of categories, as announced by Maria Oden, OEDK faculty director and a teaching professor of bioengineering, and Luay Nakhleh, the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering and a professor of computer science and biosciences.

Oden began the awards ceremony on a sad note as she mentioned the recent passing of Carolyn Huff, a Rice alumna who, with her husband Harrell Huff, supported dozens of capstone teams over the years. 

"And they supported us in so many other ways," Oden said. "They don't just send a sponsorship check. They come, they meet with you, they give you feedback. ... They have been an amazing part of OEDK history."

Top level awards:

Excellence in Freshman Engineering Design ($1,000): UltraVisor-C.

Excellence in Independent, Multi-year or Club Engineering Design ($1,000): pH Perfect.

Excellence in Capstone Engineering Design ($1,000): Brainwaves!

Excellence in Capstone Engineering Design ($1,000): Reservoir Dogs.

Category awards:

Best Interdisciplinary Engineering Design ($750): The Resinators.

Best Aerospace  or Transportation Technology ($500): Rice Eclipse - Titan II.

Best Gaming, Creative or Innovative Technology ($500): Baby Driver.

Best Environment and Sustainability Engineering Design ($500): Haber-Boss Green Ammonia.

Best Medical Technology ($500): InhalEZ.

Best Energy-Related Engineering Design ($500): Jet Fuel “Light.”

Best Technology for Low-Resource Settings Design ($500): No Mo’ Silo.

Best Conceptual or Computational Modeling Engineering Design ($500): Owlchemists.

People's Choice ($500): Ω2Ω.

 Willy Revolution Awards for Outstanding Innovation:

1st place ($3,000): Coke Boat Crackdown.

2nd place ($1,500): Under Pressure.

Read about all the participating teams at

Breadboard team
The winning Breadboard team with their hands-free, electric longboard. From left: Will Coben, Chris Hong, Robert Chen, Andrew Xavier and Tristan Mansfield. Photo by Si Vo/Luxe Studio Productions