IGEN Challenge

In 1919, when French hotelier Raymond Orteig offered $25,000 to whoever could complete the first nonstop flight between New York City and Paris, he could not have imagined that it would take eight years and more than $400,000 before someone – Mr. Charles Lindbergh – was able to claim the prize. Over the past century, many other similar prizes have been set up to address the most challenging technological problems in society. Our Integrated Engineers are up to the task, and we want to offer them the opportunity to show the world what they can do.

The IGEN Challenge is a prize competition intended to bring out the best in our engineers. Given an unsolved technical problem, our IGEN students will form teams and, over the eight-month academic year, will work to solve the problem. We will give them course credit for trying, and a monetary prize if they can solve it.

This is where our industry partners come in. Industry partnerships represent one of the many ways that the Faculty is able to support and augment such groundbreaking curricular developments. We envision working side-by-side with members of industry to solve their specific technical problems through the IGEN Challenge – industry partners will set the Challenge by submitting their problems to student teams, cover the project costs, and provide the prize money to the winning student teams.

The benefit to our industry partners will be substantial – for minimal cost, they will receive significant manpower hours from the IGEN students, they will be able to take advantage of innovative ideas supplied by the next generation of engineering minds, and they will derive valuable solutions to their technical problems at a fraction of the cost of dealing with them in-house with paid employees. Industry partners will retain full rights to any intellectual property obtained during the Challenge.

Not only will industry partners receive significant value for their dollar, they will also benefit from an enhanced exposure and profile on UBC’s campus, amongst UBC Engineering students. They will receive: exposure on competition documents, the website, and IGEN Challenge events; the opportunity to meet the student teams and other IGEN students at a private reception, and to present to the attendees; representation on the panel of judges; an invitation to and recognition at the closing event; and a company banner to be placed in background in publicity photos.