INNOVATE – An Innovation Challenge for Students hosted by IEEE Kerala Section SIGHT

IEEE Kerala Section SIGHT in association with IEEE Kerala Young Professionals & IEEE LINK organized an innovation challenge competition for the IEEE student members of the section. The event was called “Innovate.” The aim of the event was to encourage innovation in engineering students and to come up with new product ideas. The global pandemic situation prompted us to choose “healthcare” as the domain for the competition. The challenge was well received by the student community and several teams registered and participated in the program.

The competition was conducted in three phases. In the first phase, all participants were asked to submit abstract write-ups about innovative product ideas. A judging panel headed by one of the senior most members in Kerala Section, Prof. V K  Damodaran and other 5 senior members – Dr. Koruth Varghese, Dr. Sukesh Kumar, Dr. Bijuna Kunju, Mr. Varghese Cherian and Mr. Shahim Baker – reviewed the abstracts submitted by fourteen student teams and shortlisted ten of them for the second round. The judging panel then gave a specific format to the shortlisted teams to prepare a detailed report of their product idea and resubmit for the next round of evaluation.

In the second round each of the panel members reviewed the detailed report submitted by the shortlisted ten teams and graded them. All of these teams were asked to present their idea to the panel as the third phase of the evaluation process. Panel members independently assessed the presentations and grades were put in against various dimensions. The panel then met to discuss and tabulate the grades they gave to each team for their detailed report and presentation to decide the winners.

The final rounds shortlisted five out of the ten ideas as worth pursuing, based on the total grades received by each team. The first three were selected for cash prizes worth Rs. 5000, Rs. 3000 and Rs. 2000 respectively. The teams that ended up in the 4th and 5th position were also matched with mentors from the seniors members of the section to pursue their project.

The judging panel used four different parameters for evaluating these product ideas. They were Innovation, Technical Feasibility, Uniqueness and Details provided in the report.

The following are the final five projects (in the order of their ranking), including the first three teams that won prizes and those matched with mentors from the section:

  1. First Prize:
    Mobile App controlled low cost UVC Disinfection Robot

    Team: Kallu Sudarsan, Abhishek Shag, Vysakh T, Mufeetha OC
    Institution: Rajiv Gandhi Institute of Technology, Kottayam, Kerala
  1. Second Prize:
    Portable Mechanical Ventilator

    Team: Abhijit, Sudarsanan, Saranya, Ajith
    Institution: Government Engineering College, Palakkad, Kerala
  1. Third Prize:
    Fourway Ventilator Splitter

    Team: Jithin J, Abdussalam Yoonus, Fathima Shijad, Nikhil M S
    Institution: TKM Engineering College, Kollam, Kerala
  1. Smart Diagnoser
    Team: Mukund C Menon, Abhijith P, Rihaz Zahir, Sreehari N
    Institution: Model Engineering College, Ernakulam, Kerala
  1. Pulsea
    Team: Niranjan K Variyar
    Institution: Sree Chithra College of Technology, Trivandrum, Kerala 
  2. Prof. V K Damodaran, chair of the judging panel announced the result on Sunday, May 17, 2020 at the VOLT program organized by the Kerala Section students committee. Kerala Section has distributed the prize money for the teams that came to the first three positions.
  3. The effort put in by Midhun M, Secretary of IEEE Kerala Section SIGHT needs to be specially mentioned in successfully coordinating and conducting the entire program. Because of the pandemic condition and travel regulations, all phases of the program including the teams’ project presentation during the final round of evaluation were all conducted on online meeting platforms. I would also like to specially mention and thank the support provided by Mr. Nandan, Kerala Section SAC, Thomas Saboo, Chair Kerala Section Young Professionals and the leaders of the LINK team for the successful conduct of the event.