Material Handling Capstone Design Competition


Sponsored by the Material Handling Industry (MHI) and College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), the purpose of the competition is to recognize outstanding material handling applications and encourage student interest in the material handling industry as a profession, recognize outstanding work, and promote collaboration between members and university students.

This competition is an opportunity for students to showcase their capstone course work and be recognized by industry professionals and academia. We encourage students whose capstone projects relate to Material Handling and Supply Chain to submit their work to the competition. Submissions will be evaluated by a committee of MHI and CICMHE members and judged based on the following criteria:

  • Project impact and success of outcomes
  • Relevance to material handling
  • Effective communication of problem, approach, design, and results

2022-2023 Design Competition is Now Available



We are excited to announce the 2022-2023 MHI and CICMHE Senior Design Competition, which will again include monetary prizes for first, second, and third places and recognition at MHI events. The application process is specifically designed to accommodate differences in capstone deliverables. So please encourage your capstone design teams to submit their material handling and supply chain projects. The deadline for submission is May 2023. The process will be similar to last year, and the website will be updated soon with new dates. Questions can be sent to co-chairs Jen Pazour and Christine Nguyen.

capstone funding request We are seeking sponsors to fund student and department prizes and travel for winners to attend MHI events.

Click here for more information.

Past Winners- Case Study Competition

Announcing the Winners of the 2022 Material Handling Capstone Design Competition. Congratulations to the winners of the 2022 Material Handling Capstone Design Competition organized by MHI and the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE).

Thanks to generous MHI sponsors, including the MHI Solutions Community, Hytrol, Knapp, Sick, Murr, Panther, Grenzenbach, and John Ashodian, the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winning teams will receive $2000; $1000; and $500, respectively, to be shared among the students on the team.

In the first year launching this competition, we received 13 submissions from 9 different schools. Each submission was reviewed by a set of industry and academic judges, including Eddie Murphy (Spaceguard Products), Jason Looman (Scanreco), Michael Shannon (SRSI), Steve Hopper (Inviscid Consulting), Derek Westfall (Portland State University, Boeing), Glen Wegel (Kitchen Cabinet Distributors), Alan Marsh, (RF-SMART), Christine Nguyen (Northern Illinois University) and Jennifer Pazour (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). Thank you to these judges for donating their time and talents to this initiative.

First Place


Georgia Tech’s Team "Tiffany and Co. Diamonds and Distribution: Improving the Order Fulfillment Process"
Student Team Members: Shreya Desai, Ozashwee Ghimire, Fares Hasan, Saman Muhammad, Neha Srivatsa, William Reich, Asli Yucebilgin
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Gunter Sharp and Dr. Dima Nazzal
View their poster

Second Place


Virginia Tech’s Team “Safelite. ADAS Windshield Storage Capacity Optimization“
Student Team Members: Evan Stahl, Phillip Froman, Daniel Dugan, Aniruddha Naik
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Chis Kwaramba and Dr. Natalie Cherbaka
View their poster

Third Place


Northern Illinois University’s Team “Americold – Dock Optimization Project at Americold featuring ASRS and Conventional Frozen Food Storage”
Student Team Members: Garret McCann and Mitchell Jones
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Christine Nguyen
View their poster

Honorable Mention


Georgia Tech’s Team "SAIA. SAIA-ZING UP: Evaluation of Terminal Expansion", a senior design technical competition finalist.
Student Team Members: Joey Abi-Sarkis, Abhishek Mattipalli, Maya Menon, Jay Patel, Santhosh Saravanan, Abhinav Sehgal, Pooja Sharma, Yashovarman Singh
Faculty Advisors: Dr. Anton Kleywegt and Dr. Dima Nazzal
View their poster

First Place - Montana State University

Advisor: Advisor: Durward Sobek
Team Members: Laura Coffey, Joey Tschida, Morten Bakke, and Brita Whisler

Second Place - Oklahoma State University

Advisor: Austin Buchanan
Team Members: Maddie Hawkins, Lauren Leto, and Maddie Marko, and Logan Price

Third Place - Polytechnic State University

Advisor: Lizabeth Schlemer
Team Members: Maggie Cheung, Jeffrey Martin, Eric Ranger, Joseph Yoo


First Place - Montana State University

Advisor: Durward Sobek
Katie Black
Eliza Diegel
Mackenzie Hull
Paul Krech

Second Place - Texas A&M University

Advisor: Andrew Johnson
Nishat Unmeshbhai Mehta
Salil Vijay Rajwade

Third Place - Maine Maritime Academy

Advisor: Navneet Jain
Amanda Holewiak
Megan McLean
Mikayla Charters
Dayna O’Brien


The competition was sponsored by the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) and the Order Fulfillment Solutions Council (OFS) of MHI. Seven independent judges from industry and academia evaluated the submissions.

First Place

($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)

Montana State University
Durwood K. Sobek II, Advisor
Team Members: Andreas Arvidsson, Quinn Hanson, Dominik Schmelter, and Drew Shanafelt

Second Place

($1,500 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for the department)

Rochester Institute of Technology
Anthony DiVasta, Advisor
Team Members: Benjamin Bruns, Alec J. Greenspan, Marissa McCarthy and Robert Mejia

Third Place

($1,000 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for the department)

University of Missouri
Mohamed Awwad, Advisor
Team Members: Austin Laramie, Rohith Madhi Reddy, Keith Schonhoff, and Roderick Timmons


The competition was sponsored by the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) and the Order Fulfillment Solutions Council of MHI. Fortna provided the case based on an actual project. Seven independent judges from industry and academia evaluated the submissions.

First Place

Place ($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
Montana State University
Durward Sobek, Advisor
Team Members: Kayley Gaustad, Lin Li, Sarah Linkenhoker, Ross Wolfe

Second Place

Second Place ($1,500 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for the department)
Rochester Institute of Technology
Anthony DiVasta, Advisor
Team Members: Filippo Iannucci, Brandon S. Hickey, Alexa Farner, Derick Kowalczyk

Third Place

Place ($1,000 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for the department)
California Polytechnic University
Liz Schlemer, Advisor
Team Members: Youlen Ghazalian, Anna McCreary, Nicole Perrigo


The competition was sponsored by the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) and the Order Fulfillment Solutions Council of MHI. St. Onge Company provided the case based on an actual project. Five independent judges from industry and academia evaluated the submissions.

First Place

($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
University of Florida
Elif Akcali, Advisor
Team Members: Sieggy Bennicoff Yundt, John Cassel, Sarah Huestis, Warner Olson

Second Place

($1500 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for the department)
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Dean Jensen, Advisor
Bianca Boll, Anne Christensen, Abigail Salkowski, Jeffrey Wientjes

Third Place

($1000 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for the department)
Montana State University
Durward Sobek II
Blake Buechler, Charlie Bartram, Garrett Conners, Sage Childs


The College-Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE) and Order Fulfillment Solutions (OFS) Council recognized the winners of the 2013-14 Student Design Competition during Student Days at ProMat 2015. The two day event was held in Chicago, IL on March 25-26, 2015 during ProMat, the material handling industry’s largest trade show. Pictured from Left to Right : Kimberly Ellis (CICMHE), Durward Sobek (Montana State University), JW Jones (OFS), and Jamie Rogers (University of Texas at Arlington). Not pictured : Tony DiVasta (Rochester Institute of Technology).

The 2013-2014 case was developed by Reddwerks, Corp.

This case study focuses the picking processes at ABC, Inc, a major retail chain with over 200 brick-and- mortar stores. Due to recent changes in the order patterns, ABC is forced to reconsider its current structure with 2 distribution centers (East Coast and West Coast). Considering new demands such as online orders, and Type I, II, & III small stores, the teams were challenged to create the best possible solution for ABC’s picking and distribution needs. The information contained in this case study has been developed to provide a real world situation.

Judging
A mixture of academic and industry judges evaluated the entries according to the criteria of improved efficiencies, no location changes to current DCs, and improved return on investment, as well as the overall quality of the report.

First Place

($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
Alex Bones, William Bryan, Ciarra Loli and Annelise Weinmann
Montana State University
Durward K. Sobek II, Advisor

Second Place

($1,500 split among the teams plus $500 for the department)
Nathan Biviano, Erika Bliss, Christopher Fenn and Samantha Reinhart
Rochester Institute of Technology
Tony DiVasta, Advisor

Third Place

($1,000 split among the teams plus $500 for the department)
Aditya Kasukhela, Benjamin Howisen, Justin Holsworth and Ting Xiao
University of Texas at Arlington
K. Jamie Rogers, Advisor

The 2012-2013 case was developed by TranSystems.

This case study focuses on a facility retrofit project at CW Sports, a major sporting goods distributor. The sporting goods industry has been growing significantly for the last decade, thanks to a variety reasons including the ability to prosper even during poor economic conditions. The Engineering Team at CW Sports is challenged with retrofitting the current distribution center to meet the demands of growth and the new acquisition of an emerging athletic footwear brand. The information contained in this case study has been developed to provide a real world situation in regard to designing a facility retrofit to improve throughput capacity, increase product storage, increase forward pick locations, and introduce distribution of an emerging footwear brand.

Judging
A mixture of academic and industry judges evaluated the entries according to the criteria of product flow, equipment selection, space utilization, operational plan, implementation plan, economic justification, overall integration, conclusions, and overall quality of report.

First Place

($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
Margaret Bates, Jessica Jeffrey, Alexandra Woodward, and Justine Nichols
Rochester Institute of Technology
Andres Carrano, Advisor

Second Place

($1500 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for each department)
Joe Johnson, Molly Martin, Nate Powell, and Colter Schilling
Montana State
Durward K. Sobek II, Advisor

Third Place

($1000 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for each department)
Abinaya Ulagappa, Shreyas Panambur, Cesar Solis, and John Curlin
Texas A&M
Andrew Johnson, Advisor

The 2011-2012 case was developed by West Monroe Partners.

MegaSteelTool's 600,000 square foot plant in Buffalo, NY, U.S.A., manufactures a variety of steel tools and distributes them to its clients across the world. The company is mainly recognized for the quality of its products. MegaSteelTool is proud to be certified for the ISO 9001-2008 quality standard.

In the last three years, MegaSteelTool has been penetrating the Asian and South-American markets. This recent success generated a total of 30% annual sales increase over the last three years. It has resulted in the current facility being running over capacity and the company having to recurrently rely on subcontractors in the last two years to meet its commitments toward its clients. The usage of subcontractors has been a costly operation, both in terms of quality and production costs.

After an extensive analysis, the company has determined that it would like to construct a new manufacturing plant to be located in Phoenix, (AZ, U.S.A.). This new plant will take a load of the actual plant. The operations at the plant of Buffalo will remain. The mission of the Buffalo plant will focus on the production of high volume - standardized products. The new plant will have to handle the production of high mix – low volume items. The exact location is not fixed yet and may change. The company desires to build a "state-of-the-art" new plant enabling it to sustain and improve its competitive advantage in the global market.

Judging
A mixture of academic and industry judges evaluated the entries according to the criteria of product flow, equipment selection, space utilization, operational plan, implementation plan, economic justification, overall integration, conclusions, and overall quality of report.

First Place

($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
Austin Chacosky, Bridget Eggers, Matthew Myers, and Leila Rozenman
Rochester Institute of Technology
Andres Carrano, Advisor

Second Place (Tie)

($1250 to each team to be split among the team members, plus $500 for each department)
Mohamed Adan, Tigist Desta, Kate Fisher, and Jesse Walters
Ohio State University
Jerald Brevick, Advisor


Gabriel Bertini, Teresa Creech, Alyssa DeYoung, and Megan Hinterberger
Penn State University
DJ Medeiros, Advisor

The 2010-2011 case was developed by St. Onge Company.

This year’s case study, SCS Stores, has been developed to provide a real world situation in regard to designing a functional and efficient distribution center facility that supports both retail store replenishment and internet order fulfillment in a high growth environment.

SCS Stores’ engineering team has been challenged to develop plans for the construction and equipping of a new distribution center. SCS Stores operates 665 superstores all across the United States. The big-box outlets offer a variety o TVs, DVD players, and audio systems, as well as CDs and DVDs, personal computer and peripherals, mobile computing devices, telephones, movies and video games. SCS currently has two distribution centers, which are both currently running over capacity and there is insufficient opportunity to expand further in the existing buildings.

First Place

($2,000 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
Dan Mashack, Rachel Belyavsky, Matthew Strauss and Tomas Lima
Virginia Tech
Jeremy L. Rickli, Advisor

Second Place

($1,500 split among the teams plus $500 for the department)
Adam Gereg, Owen Kelley, David Sitek and Cory Wolosyn
Montana State University
Durward K. Sobek II, Advisor

Third Place

($1,000 split among the teams plus $500 for the department)
Philip Gutierrez, Eric Kim, Estelle Sillari-Owen and Nihar Doshi
California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
Lizabeth Schlemer, Advisor

The 2009-2010 case was developed by Keogh Consulting.

This year’s case study, ToolFair Distributors, has been developed to provide a real world situation in regard to designing functional and efficient distribution center facilities.

ToolFair’s engineering team has been challenged to develop plans for the construction and equipping of a new distribution center that will commence shipment to customers no later than June 2011. ToolFair is a nationwide company that distributes a full line of hardware, tools, and maintenance supplies to independent hardware retailers located in 39 states. Each customer store is serviced from the Regional Distribution Center (RDC) located within a 200 mile radius. Recently, the company projected sales through 2016, and it was determined that the existing distribution network would need to be expanded by 2012 to service the ever growing number of customer stores through the addition of a new southwestern RDC located in Phoenix, AZ.

A key to the rapid expansion of the company lies in the company’s focus on Customer Service, streamlined Supply Chain Logistics processes, and integration of its information systems with its suppliers. Collaborative planning with key suppliers has resulted in a significant reduction in inventories and transportation services needed to provide fast replenishment to its customers who compete with the large national Do-It-Yourself retailers.

First Place

($1,500 split among the team plus $500 for the department)
Mattie Bookhout, Prabuddha Lohani, Elizabeth McCallion and Cameron Ramoly
University of Arkansas
Russell Meller, Advisor

Second Place

($1,000 split among the teams plus $500 for the department)
Colby Allen, Philip Pecher, Tim Wilson and Yigong Zhang
Georgia Institute of Technology
Chen Zhou, Advisor

Third Place

($500 split among the teams plus $500 for the department)
Mona Barjasteh, Kyle Gaunt, Jose Gonzalez and Jeffrey Yuan
California Polytechnic State University – San Luis Obispo
Unny Menon, Advisor

Honorable Mentions

Michael Wharff, Amy Fredrikson, Breton Bureau and Todd Murphy
Maine Maritime Academy
Navneet Jain, Advisor


Ashley Olander, Jarrod Kazda, Anthony Koleck and Anastasia Linuwih
Penn State University
D.J. Medeiros, Advisor