NCDMM and AMT Announce First MTConnect Student Challenge

One Challenge, Two Contests with Cash Prizes Totaling $33K

Blairsville, Pa. — May 13, 2015. The National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining (NCDMM) and the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Defense-wide Manufacturing Science and Technology (DMS&T), sponsored along with AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology and the U.S. Army Benét Labs, and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association, proudly announce today the first ever MTConnect® Student Challenge. The MTConnect Student Challenge offers community college and university students a tremendous opportunity to harness their creativity and problem-solving skills and apply them to their understanding of manufacturing to compete for cash prizes totaling $33,000.

News of this challenge came on the last day of the [MC]2 Conference being held April 28 – 30, 2015, in Chicago at McCormick Place and was announced by Douglas K. Woods, President, MTConnect Institute and President, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, along with MTConnect Challenge 2 first and second place winners, Valerie Pezzullo Fadool, Process Development Engineer, JTEKT Corporation; and Joel D. Neidig, Business Development & Technology Manager, ITAMCO, respectively.

Of the launch of this new MTConnect Challenge, Mr. Woods stated, “The MTConnect Student Challenge seeks to engage the higher education community at large to promote innovative thinking and ideas, and ultimately, to enable manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs for the defense manufacturing industry. It is our collective hope that the MTConnect Student Challenge will inspire a broader base of software and system architects; build a new, skilled workforce by increasing students’ awareness of and interest in advanced manufacturing technologies; and develop MTConnect applications that can easily be adopted by manufacturers of all sizes.”

MTConnect is an open, royalty-free communications standards intended to foster greater interoperability and information sharing between manufacturing equipment, devices, and software applications. To date, harnessing the wealth of available information and data across equipment and devices has been challenging due in large part to the disparate nature of software programs. NCDMM, MTConnect Institute, and the United States Army Benét Labs are overseeing the Challenge. The MTConnect Institute manages the development and further adoption of the standard.

The MTConnect Student Challenge is structured as one challenge with two contests that will award cash prizes at the conclusion of each stage.

IDEATION, the first contest, involves the identification of ambitious yet achievable ideas that capture the public’s imagination and harness innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs. Students will be required to submit a written report that clearly identifies the problem, solution, and value proposition. First and second place winners and three runners-up will be selected and awarded a total of $10,500 in cash prizes, including a $5,000 award for first place.

APPLICATION, the second contest, involves the submission of an actual software application. Students will be required to develop and demonstrate a software application that harnesses innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs that could benefit the Department of Defense and its industrial manufacturing supply chain. Participation in the IDEATION contest is not a prerequisite for participation in the APPLICATION contest. Three winners will be selected and awarded a total of $22,500 in cash prizes, including a $10,000 award for first place.

“On behalf of all of us at NCDMM, OSD DSM&T, MTConnect Institute, and the U.S. Army Benét Labs, we are excited to engage with the community college and university student body who are interested in becoming the next-generation of advanced manufacturing innovators through the MTConnect Student Challenge,” said Ralph Resnick, NCDMM President and Executive Director. “We look forward to the MTConnect Student Challenge serving as the catalyst for ingenious ideas and applications that can be leveraged and implemented throughout the manufacturing industry.”

The MTConnect Student Challenge Timeline is as follows:

Thursday, June 11, 2015 Launch – Submission Period Opens
Friday, September 18, 2015 IDEATION Submission Deadline
Thursday, October 15,2015 IDEATION Winners Announced at NTMA
Sunday, January 31, 2016 APPLICATION Submission Deadline

For complete MTConnect Student Challenge rules, guidelines, and submission forms, visit and

For more information about the [MC]2 2015 MTConnect Conference, visit To learn more about MTConnect, visit the MTConnect Institute at



NCDMM delivers optimized manufacturing solutions that enhance the quality, affordability, maintainability, and rapid deployment of existing and yet-to-be developed defense systems. This is accomplished through collaboration with government, industry, and academic organizations to promote the implementation of best practices to key stakeholders through the development and delivery of disciplined training, advanced technologies, and methodologies. NCDMM also manages the national accelerator for additive manufacturing (AM) and 3DP printing (3DP), America Makes—the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute. For additional information, visit NCDMM at

About Benét Labs

Benét Labs is a Department of the Army Center of Excellence supporting the management and execution of life cycle research, development, engineering, design, producibility, and engineering standardization programs for large caliber armaments, mortars and direct fire systems. A full complement of modern laboratory equipment, along with a highly trained staff of scientist, engineers, and technicians, enables Benét to be a world leader in innovative technology and applications.

About MTConnect Institute

The MTConnect Institute is a not-for-profit 501(c)(6) organization established to further the development and adoption of the MTConnect standard and is a subsidiary of AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The Technical Advisory Group (TAG) is the avenue for input from industry via working groups and quarterly meetings. The Technical Steering Committee authors the MTConnect standard. The Institute’s activities are overseen by a Board of Trustees. Membership in the MTConnect Institute is free.

About [MC]2 Conference

The [MC]2 Conference is a three-day conference designed for end users, equipment and device suppliers, software developers, distributors, integrators, students, and professors interested in the advancement of data-driven manufacturing. The conference, April 19-21, 2016, in Dallas, Texas, will be packed with timely insights, strategic views, and actionable items. For more information about the [MC]2 Conference, visit

About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology

AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members—those who design, build, sell, and service the continuously evolving technology that lies at the heart of manufacturing. Founded in 1902 and based in Virginia, the association specializes in providing targeted business assistance, extensive global support, and business intelligence systems and analysis. AMT is the voice that communicates the importance of policies and programs that encourage research and innovation, and the development of educational initiatives to create tomorrow’s Smartforce. AMT owns and manages IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show, which is the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.