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Watch Texas A&M Students Invent For An Intelligent Future, Compete For Funding At Texas A&M House

March 10, 2017

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Can advanced, lifesaving medical technologies be scaled down to a user-friendly device? Can modern manufacturing technologies find their way to 3D printers? Can old items be retrofitted with new technologies to become part of the “Internet of Things?”

Three teams of Texas A&M University students will find the answers to those questions as they compete for mentorship opportunities and funding to take their solutions to market during the two-day “Texas A&M Invents for an Intelligent Future” activation at South By Southwest (SXSW).

“We encourage our students to embrace an entrepreneurial spirit and have challenged them to dream, design and develop new technologies,” said Dr. M. Katherine Banks, vice chancellor and dean of Texas A&M Engineering. “Innovation will take center stage with excitement, frustration and thrills as teams race against the clock to build their prototypes in real time and pitch them to an expert panel. Many students tell us that this has been their hardest, and most fulfilling, challenge of their college experience.”

Located at the “Texas A&M House” at Hotel Van Zandt and hosted by the College of Engineering, day one of the competition on March 11 will feature a timed build of devices.

Three teams will compete for funding and mentoring opportunities at SXSW.
Three teams will compete for funding and mentoring opportunities at SXSW.

The second and final day of the competition on March 12 will feature an on-site testing of the student-developed devices and a review by a panel of industry-leading judges. The judge panel includes:

  • Shayla Rivera, former NASA rocket scientist and comedian
  • Stephen P. Rodriguez, founder of One Defense
  • Charles Schroeder, vice president of Product Marketing for RF and Wireless Communications
  • Gregory Chamitoff, professor of engineering practice and director of the AeroSpace Technology, Research & Operations (ASTRO) Center

During the “Texas A&M Invents for an Intelligent Future” activation, visitors to Texas A&M House will also be able to take a virtual augmented reality walk on the surface of Mars as part of research Texas A&M is conducting in concert with NASA for a new online virtual reality platform named “SpaceCRAFT.”

For the first time ever, Texas A&M will be participating at the SXSW Festival and Conference in Austin during Interactive Week, March 10-15, showcasing the innovative work happening at the tier-one research institution. Texas A&M is one of just a handful of universities showcasing during Interactive Week.

For more on Texas A&M’s SXSW activities, visit

For more on SXSW, visit

About Texas A&M University:

Texas A&M, established in 1876 as the first public university in Texas, is one of the nation’s largest universities with more than 66,000 students and more than 400,000 living alumni residing in over 150 countries around the world. It holds the rare land-, sea- and space-grant designations. Research conducted at Texas A&M represented annual expenditures of more than $892.7 million in fiscal year 2016. Texas A&M’s research creates new knowledge that provides basic, fundamental and applied contributions resulting, in many cases, in economic benefits to the state, nation and world. The school’s Lead by Example campaign is a comprehensive effort to raise $4 billion by the year 2020, making it the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. Aggies are known for their deep commitment to the success of each other and a strong desire to serve.


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