WSU Team Places Second in Design Challenge


By Standard-Examiner staff

VIENNA, Va. — Weber State University students placed second in the national AbilityOne Design Challenge.

The AbilityOne Design Challenge is a high school and college-level competition rewarding students who develop devices or systems to help people with disabilities succeed in the workplace. The Weber  team received the second place “Best Engineering Design” trophy for creating the “Engineered Queuing User Interface and Point of Sale,” in collaboration with Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center. The Android-based tablet software helps employees of Runway Ruby’s Restaurant at Hill Air Force Base, who have autism or Asperger syndrome, to more accurately and efficiently take, prepare and deliver food orders.

First place overall went to Ohio University students who created a machine that cleans ink off of used metal printing plates. The plates are used to make painted metal flowers. Before the machine was created, the plates were cleaned by people without disabilities, using a power washer; now that job can be done by people with disabilities. The team and their university each received $10,000 awards.

Third place when to Oregon State University for a mesh wire cutter used in roof construction.

Winners were honored on Wednesday at a congressional reception.

The AbilityOne Design Challenge is sponsored by SourceAmerica, an organization that helps non-profit organizations employ workers who have disabilities, providing goods and services to the federal government.