NCDMM and AMT Announce MTConnect Student Challenge — Application Competition Winner at IMTS 2016

Georgia Institute of Technology’s Ethan Wescoat Wins $10k Award for Submission Combining MTConnect with Microsoft Excel to Track Machine Utilization

Blairsville, Pa. — September 12, 2016. 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) Program, along with the U.S. Army Benét Labs, AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, and the MTConnect Institute, in partnership with SME and the National Tooling and Machining Association, proudly announce that Ethan Wescoat of the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) is the first-place, $10k winner of the MTConnect® Student Challenge — Application Competition. In addition to naming Wescoat as the first-place winner, the second- and third-place winners and one finalist were also named.

Today’s announcement was made in Chicago on the opening day of IMTS — International Manufacturing Technology Show, which is owned and managed by AMT.

Sponsored by OSD DMS&T, managed by the U.S. Army Benét Labs, executed by NCDMM, in conjunction with project partner AMT, the MTConnect Student Challenge sought to better develop manufacturing’s digital capabilities by using student creativity to find industry solutions. It was structured as one challenge with two competitions, awarding cash prizes at the conclusion of each stage. Ideation, the first competition, involved the identification of ambitious yet achievable ideas that capture the public’s imagination and harness innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs.

Application, the second competition, involved the submission of an actual software application, using either an independent idea/solution, or the solution from the Ideation contest if student participated. With the Application competition, participating students were required to develop and demonstrate a software application that harnessed innovation and manufacturing intelligence breakthroughs that could benefit the Department of Defense and its industrial manufacturing supply chain.

“On behalf of all of us involved with the MTConnect Student Challenge, we congratulate our Application Competition first-place winner, Ethan, and all the finalists, for participating in this opportunity to leverage the MTConnect standard to advance the manufacturing industry with their innovative ideas and unique perspectives of their tech-savvy generation,” said NCDMM President and Executive Director Ralph Resnick.

Wescoat’s winning submission, “Monitoring CNC Machines Using MTConnect and Microsoft® Excel,” tracks machine utilization using off-the-shelf products to capture and analyze machine operating data from the shop floor. Through his submission, Wescoat was able to develop innovative and inexpensive approaches to how the application allowed the captured data to serve multiple requirements, including the ability to provide current machine status information to the operator and utilization information for management. As demonstrated in his application, combining the data capture capabilities of MTConnect with the data handling capabilities of Microsoft Excel provided an interface for operators and engineers alike to monitor and gather data effectively and efficiently from their machines during production.

The other recognized finalists, listed with their schools and titles of submissions, are:

  • Second-place, $7.5k Winner: Kathryn Lovell of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for “NC.js: The Smart Machining Advisor,” which enabled machining on the Cloud with StepNC data and MTConnect data
  • Third-place, $5k Winner: Shaurabh Kumar Singh of North Carolina State University for “Real-Time Digital Verification of Product Manufacturing Data,” which enabled real-time geometry verification
  • Finalist: Yansen Zhou of Rice University for “MTLogger,” a real-time data visualization creation tool for machine tool data

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, the U.S. Army Benét Labs, and the MTConnect Institute are overseeing the Challenge. The MTConnect Institute manages the development and further adoption of the standard.



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 Office of the Secretary of Defense

The Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) is the principal staff element of the Secretary of Defense in the exercise of policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluation responsibilities. OSD includes the immediate offices of the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Under Secretaries of Defense, Director of Defense Research and Engineering, Assistant Secretaries of Defense, General Counsel, Director of Operational Test and Evaluation, Assistants to the Secretary of Defense, Director of Administration and Management, and such other staff offices as the Secretary establishes to assist in carrying out assigned responsibilities. For more information about the OSD, visit

About AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology

AMT represents U.S.-based builders and distributors of manufacturing technology – the advanced machinery, devices, and digital equipment that U.S. manufacturing relies on to be productive, innovative, and competitive. Located in McLean, VA, near the nation’s capital, AMT acts as the industry’s voice to speed the pace of innovation, increase global competitiveness and develop manufacturing’s advanced workforce of tomorrow. With extensive expertise in industry data and intelligence, as well as a full complement of international business operations, AMT offers its members an unparalleled level of support. AMT also produces IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.  


About IMTS — International Manufacturing Technology Show

The largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. This year, IMTS 2016 runs from Sept. 12-17. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology, IMTS attracts more than 114,000 visitors from every level of industry and more than 112 countries. IMTS is owned and managed by AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology.

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 U.S. ARMY RDECOM 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.