The MIT Mechanical Engineering
de Florez Award Competition

Congratulations to our 2014 winners!

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 2014 award purse is $18,000, 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 actively aim to recognize outstanding innovation in both areas.


Please use this form and send to hover at (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)


  • 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. Hover.

Once Accepted

Accepted applications will be announced on Monday April 21st. Each contestant must prepare an electronic version of a poster in PowerPoint (template will be provided in the acceptance email), and submit this to Marcia Munger ( via email by Wed April 23rd, 11am. This poster is required! We will have your poster printed and mounted, then brought to the competition where you will collect it. You cannot print your own poster.


MONDAY 28 APRIL 1:30-3:00 IN THE BUSH ROOM, 10-105

Competition Schedule

1:00-1:30 is setup time - get all demonstrations fully set up
1:30-3:00 is the judging time - judges are circulating
3:00-3:30 is free viewing - no judging
3:30-4:00 is teardown

During the judging time you'll need to 'man' your station. This will be an 'OPEN PRESENTATION' wherein the attendees/judges will move at their leisure between posters/demos.


You will be allotted a half table (~30in x 36in) or an easel for your poster/demo, and additionally you should use whatever you feel best as the means to get your point across. If you have a short slideshow (no more than 5 slides), bring your own computer. The Judges ultimately 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. Hover.

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 Undergraduate 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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