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Hampton University has been breaking ground in academics since Booker T. Washington.

In a recent achievement at the 2018 BEYA STEM Conference, the Hampton University Engineering Design Team earned first place in the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) Design Challenge.

The design team is comprised of freshman Larry Luster, sophomores Jai Huntley and Kennedi Scott, juniors Raymond Berry, Jr., Shomari Crockett, and Christopher Johnson; and seniors Terry Atwater and Keshia Capers.

“Congratulations to these eight stellar engineers,” said Hampton University President Dr. William R. Harvey in a statement. “They represent just a small piece of the cutting-edge creativity that’s a hallmark of innovation happening every day at Hampton University.”

In 2003, the University secured a $92 million dollar grant to launch weather satellites into orbit, making it the first HBCU to be solely responsible for a major NASA mission.

“The corporate judges were blown away by the Hampton University design team,” said Dr. Joyce Shirazi, dean of the Hampton University School of Engineering and Technology.

Engineering teams from Alabama A&M, Morgan State, North Carolina A&T, Prairie View A&M, Tennessee State, Tuskegee, University of the District of Columbia, and Virginia State University. also presented their final project presentations during the challenge.

“Our engineering students won because they were able to present a prototype that was better than their competitors,” Dean Shiraazi said.

The Hampton University Engineering Design Team developed an app — using IBM Watson software — called ColorSphere that promoted and assisted students in a search for employment.

Hampton alum Dr. Nellone Reid served as the team’s faculty advisor and Mr. Brandon Diggs from Corning Incorporated was the corporate mentor. Teams were judged based on design, prototype, and presentation.

The AMIE Design Challenge was sponsored and judged by IBM, Lockheed, Boston Scientific, Boeing, Corning, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and the National Security Agency.

In addition to winning the top AMIE award at BEYA, Hampton University’s School of Engineering and Technology students attended IBM training in design, test and development applications over a three week period.

The School of Engineering and Technology also received a monetary prize that will assist in retention programs as well as a monetary award to each student team member.

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