The MIT Mechanical Engineering
de Florez Award Competition

Now Accepting 2017 Applications: Due Sunday, April 30 @ 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 2017 award purse is $20,000, with individual prizes up to $2,500.

We invite entries from undergraduate students/teams and graduate students/teams.



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 show or demonstrate this.

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 Sunday, April 30, 11:59 pm
Please use this form and send to (one page maximum). Teams should submit one form under the leader's name; the form should indicate all of the team members.

Minimum Required

  • Full name(s)
  • MIT address, phone, and email (leader only for teams)
  • Project title and description.
  • Confirmation that you will demonstrate a working prototype in-person or via 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.
  • Indicate whether you will leave your poster and/or prototype for the Engineering Petting Zoo.


  • Link to images/video on a web page
  • Your preference for a design or science award


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. 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 Tuesday, May 2. Each contestant must prepare a PDF of their poster and submit it to Cakky Hogan ( via email by Sunday, May 7, at 11:59 pm. This poster is required! We will have your poster printed, mounted, and delivered to the competition where you will collect it. You cannot print your own poster.


Thursday, May 11, 12pm-2pm, Johnson Athletics Center Ice Rink (W34)

Competition Schedule

11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Setup time – get all demonstrations fully set up

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Judging time judges are circulating

1:30 pm - 2:00 pm

Free viewing, no judging

During the judging time you'll need to 'man' your station. Teams of judges will be rotating among the entrants.

We invite and encourage all de Florez Competition participants to leave their presentations on display in the Johnson Ice Rink after 2:00 pm, as part of the Engineering Petting Zoo which will take place in conjunction with the 2.007 Robot Competition. You do not have to stay with your project after 2:00 pm, as security will be present. However, If you are available to present your work from 5:30 pm on, please join the reception for as long as you have time to do so. The 2.007 Robot Competition is scheduled to begin at 6:30 pm. If you leave your project, you will need to remove it from the Ice Rink at the end of the Robot Competition. The Ice Rink MUST be cleared out by 12 noon, Friday, May 12th.


You will be allotted a half table (~30in x 36in) and/or appropriate floor space, as well as an easel for your poster. Additionally you should use whatever you feel best gets your point across; if you have a short slideshow (no more than 5 slides), bring your own computer. Ultimately, the judges want you to be clear on what your contribution/innovation is and why it is important.

For Design Projects

Demonstrate a working prototype of your entry via video or 'in-person.' Exceptions may be allowed if it is impractical to show at the contest site. In these cases, a video is necessary or the contestant MAY be allotted time to give the judges a short tour of the work if it is within a few minutes walking distance. If you desire to use this option, you must state this on your application and send a separate email to Prof. Winter.

For Science Projects

Show proof that your understanding/principles are correct.

A panel of faculty/graduate students and guests from industry will decide the winners. First-place winners will receive the 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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