Academic Projects and Competitions

Project-based learning is a widely recognized and effective teaching approach for students of all abilities. Project-based learning also develops higher-order inquiry and problem-solving skills and helps students gain a greater and deeper understanding of scientific and mathematical principles in an applied manner. The competitive elements of some project-based learning activities also provide an important additional dimension to teaching and learning. Within the correct context, competition engages and motivates students and drives innovation, a vital requirement for any engineer or product designer.

Here are a few of the academic projects, competitions and challenges Siemens PLM Software supports for engineering and design students.

Siemens PLM Software Student Design Contest

You know your designs are great, show the world. Entry is easy. This monthly contest gives you global recognition for your hard work. Impress friends, classmates, teachers and future employers. Winners receive a prize and are featured on our website.



EcoCAR is a three-year collegiate student engineering competition focused on electric drive vehicle technology. EcoCAR offers an unparalleled hands-on, real-world experience to educate the next generation of automotive engineers. The competition challenges 15 universities across North America to reduce the environmental impact of vehicles without compromising performance, safety and consumer acceptability. Its unique combination of cutting edge engineering practices, hands-on experience, exposure to world-class organizations and knowledge sharing in a competitive and team-oriented environment makes it the perfect preamble to future job success.



Partners for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering Education (PACE) links Siemens PLM Software with GM, Autodesk, Hewlett-Packard and Oracle at more than 50 strategically selected academic institutions worldwide to develop the automotive PLM team of the future. PACE offers students the opportunity to participate in collaborative product development projects and experience many of the same challenges that designers, product engineers and manufacturing engineers encounter in industry today. Through global projects, students work in distributed virtual teams and hone the collaboration and team-building skills required by global manufacturers.



Greenpower is dedicated to promoting engineering and technology as careers to students, ages 9 to 25, in any form of full- or part-time education. This is achieved through unique hands-on projects to design, build and race an electric car. This engineering challenge is currently a UK-only engagement, but both Siemens PLM Software and Greenpower are actively looking to expand this excellent project on a global basis.


Formula Student

Formula Student is an educational motorsport competition, run by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Backed by industry and high profile engineers the competition aims to inspire and develop enterprising and innovative young engineers. Universities from across the globe are challenged to design and build a single-seat racing car in order to compete in static and dynamic events, which demonstrate their understanding and test the performance of the vehicle. Their mission is to excite and encourage young people to take up a career in engineering.


FIRST Robotics

FIRST Robotics is an international high school robotics competition, founded in 1989 to develop ways to inspire students in engineering and technology fields. Each year, teams of students use tools like Solid Edge and NX to build robots weighing up to 120 pounds that can complete a task, which changes every year.



The High Schools United with NASA to Create Hardware (HUNCH) project provides work experiences to inspire high school students to pursue careers in science and engineering fields. HUNCH is a collaborative effort among NASA Space Operations and Exploration Systems mission directorates and Marshall Space Flight Center's Academic Affairs, Training and Crew Operations, and Ares Project offices. They provide "work-world" experiences for students by engaging them in the design, fabrication and rapid prototyping of multiple products for use in the ARES I mock-up. Students at the Huntsville Center for Technology prefer using Solid Edge CAD software, due to its user friendliness. “They think it’s fun and get excited when I introduce modeling into the curriculum,” said Mike Evans, Drafting Design Instructor.



SkillsUSA offers competitive activities for students in a variety of occupational skill and leadership areas. Competition in skill and personal achievement is encouraged at all levels. Leadership contests include public speaking, parliamentary procedure, safety, opening and closing ceremonies, and job interviewing. Occupational skill contests include the building trades, health occupations, automotive technology, the electrical/electronics industry and personal services. Solid Edge plays an integral role in the skilled and technical sciences portion of the competition, which includes technical drafting, robotics and automation technology, and sheet metal and welding fabrication.


Formula Student Germany

Formula Student Germany aims to challenge and advance students more than any other project they are likely to work on during their studies. Through this competition where they are tasked to build a single seat formula racecar and then compete against teams from all over the world, they are able to apply their theory from the lecture room to practice. Students gain practical experience through the development of skills in the fields of design and manufacturing, and are familiarized with the economic aspects of the automotive industry. Furthermore, the application of project and time management, teamwork, and technical communication in English broadens their on-the-job training.
Participation in Formula Student Germany offers students the possibility to enhance their soft skills beyond the subject-related engineering education and, thus, acts as a comprehensive preparation for their future professional lives.




The Hyperloop Pod Competition is an incentive prize competition sponsored by SpaceX where a number of student and non-student teams are participating to design—and for some, build—a subscale prototype transport vehicle to demonstrate technical feasibility of various aspects of the Hyperloop concept. The competition is open to participants globally.
Through the competition, SpaceX hopes to speed up the development of a prototype for a safer, faster, less expensive and more sustainable mode of transportation, according to the company's website.
Siemens PLM Software supports several student teams from around the world.


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