The MIT Mechanical Engineering
de Florez Award Competition

Presented Virtually

Via on May 20, 2021

Now Accepting 2021 Applications: Due Wednesday, April 14th   @ 11:59 pm

The de Florez awards are given to Course 2 students demonstrating "Outstanding Ingenuity and Creative Judgment" in areas that utilize mechanical engineering knowledge or practice.
The 2021 award purse is $30,000, with individual prizes up to $2,500.

This year in addition to accepting entries from undergraduate and graduate  students/teams,  we invite 2020 gradutes to enter, as they missed their opportunity last year due to lockdown.     



Engineering Design

Use MechE principles/practices to synthesize and create an ingenious design. This could be a piece of software, a new machine element, a process, a new circuit, a testing apparatus or technique, a robot, a consumer product, etc. A working, realized design is mandatory; you must have created it, and you must illustrate and demonstrate this in your poster; and either via embedded video clip, real-time demo via Zoom, or both.     .

Engineering Science

Discover or generate new scientific understanding or principles key to advancing the practice of MechE, for example a theoretical model, or a numerical solution technique. You must state how your innovation will contribute to the field, and show proof that your understanding/principles are correct. This contest is not for early stage 'ideas' about new understanding/theory/principles.

The Contest Organizers and Judges value and aim to recognize outstanding innovation in both areas.


Due Wednesday, April 14th, 11:59 pm
Please complete this google form. Teams should submit one form under the leader's name; the form should indicate all of the team members.

Required Information

  • Full name(s)
  • Permanent address, phone, and email (leader only for teams)
  • Project title and description.
  • Confirmation that you will demonstrate a working prototype via real-time Zoom presentation, and/or via embedded video; or offer compelling evidence that your new theory or principle is correct (exceptions may be made for unusual cases).
  • Indicate whether you will be submitting in the undergraduate or graduate category and in the design or science category.


The contest is open to MIT Mechanical Engineering students enrolled in one of our full-time SB, MS, MEM, LGO, Engineer's, or PhD programs, including the WHOI Joint Program.  This year, the contest is also open to all 2020 graduates of the previously listed programs.  Visiting students are not eligible. Your team size should be no more than three. If your project is an outcome of work done within a larger group, several special steps are required: 1) The poster must acknowledge all the team members, no matter how small their evident role, and 2) We must receive (via email), by the application date, a statement from each of the larger team members, giving the applicants permission to enter this contest, and confirming that they themselves are not part of the presentation. Questions should be addressed to Prof. Winter at

Once Accepted

Accepted applications will be announced on Monday, April 20th. If your project is accepted, you will be required to create a poster (templete will be provided) to present virtually.  Your poster may include multimedia to show your work in-action, and in 3D. We will provide information on how to do this. You will submit your poster to Cakky Hogan ( via email by Monday, May 10th, at 11:59 pm.       


Thursday, May 20th, 5:00pm-7:00pm,

Competition Schedule  

Please check back for updates on scheduling specifics re the day of the competition.


During the judging time you'll need to attend your poster station in Teams of judges will be rotating among the entrants. You will have about 10 minutes to present your work, to each group of judges (usually 3-4 per project).  

For Design Projects

Demonstrate a working prototype of your entry via your poster, an embedded video, and/or 'in-person.'

For Science Projects

Show proof that your understanding/principles are correct.

Ultimately, the judges want you to be clear on what your contribution/innovation is and why it is important.  A panel of faculty/graduate students will decide the winners. First-place winners will receive their award and be recognized at the MechE Student Awards Luncheon.


MARCH 1889 - NOVEMBER 1962
Admiral Luis de Florez, a 1911 MIT graduate, established a trust to support awards to recognize students for "outstanding ingenuity and creative development." Each year, four awards are given in Course 2 and one is given in Course 16. Luis de Florez was influential in the development of early flight simulators.

He received:
  • The 1943 Collier Trophy One of the most prestigious awards for aeronautical achievement in the United States for his work in training combat pilots and flight crews.
  • The Legion of Merit in June 1945

Admiral de Florez was the first director of technical research at the CIA. The main building complex at the Naval Air Warfare Center Training Systems Division is named after him. Admiral de Florez died in 1962. He was found in the cockpit of his airplane, which was primed and ready for take-off.

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