MasterpiECE Mania

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MasterpiECE Mania began in 2009 with the goal of inciting creativity throughout the Michigan Tech community and fostering an appreciation for the 'DIY' aspect of modern electronics. Although the yearly MasterpiECE Mania competition is hosted by the Michigan Tech ECE department, it is open to all Michigan Tech Students regardless of major. This intra-disciplinary hack-a-thon competition challenges student to develop and build an electrical-based project that displays their skill and ingenuity.

MasterpiECE Mania is split into three parts: Proposals, Project Presentation, and ECE Preview Day.

Cash Prizes

The top three innovators will receive a cash prize, as decided by a panel of judges consisting of members of the ECE department. These are the prize breakdowns:

1st place; $500

2nd place; $300

3rd place; $200

Rules and procedures:

1. Your project must be presented at MasterpiECE Mania

2. Receipts for all claimed parts must be brought to the the event

3. The refunded parts must have been purchased for this project; parts previously owned will not be refunded

4. Maximum reimbursal amount will be determined closer to the event.


Proposals are a way for each team or an individual to officially register their project with the IEEE and ECE department. This is especially important in regards to creating a project lineup for the presentation event and verify that all rules and guidelines have been met. Proposals are required for each individual project submitted.

A project proposal requires the following:

1. One (1) Project Proposal is required per project submission

2. Name(s) of team members or individuals working on the project

3. A short description of the project including a basic overview and its intended use or functionality

4. Any voltage requirements over 24V or 5 Amps *must* be reported so it can be cleared by the department

5. Notification if there are any safety hazards such as corrosive liquids, live wires, or risk of electric shock. These must be modified or safely contained or by the project presentation event.

6. Project Proposals must be sent via e-mail to

Project Presentation

The project presentation is the main MasterpiECE event. This consists of a short presentation for each project describing the build process, explaining circuitry and schematics, and which materials were used, among other pertinent project data. . Many teams choose to make a short slideshow to display schematics, pictures of the build process, or other informational supplements. Projects must be in full working order by the beginning of presentations, otherwise your entry will be forfeited from the pool of submitted projects.

During each presentation, a panel of judges consisting of pre-appointed faculty from the ECE department will evaluate the project based on creativity, skills utilized, and project complexity, among other aspects. Once project presentations have concluded, the panel will leave the event to privately discuss each project and determine winners for first, second, and third place. The winners are rewarded $500 for first place, $300 for second, and $200 for third, respectively.

ECE Preview Day

The main requirement for winning projects to claim their prize money is the condition that the winning teams are present to exhibit their projects, which must remain in functional order to demonstrate at ECE Preview Day. ECE Preview Day is a yearly open house traditionally held in the EERC the Saturday after MasterpiECE Mania. Winning teams are required to be present, and other project teams are also encouraged to attend.

Aside from ECE Preview Day, the ECE department may also request winner attendance at other demonstration events throughout the year.

2016 MasterpiECE Dates
Proposal Due Date 2017-03-15
MasterpiECE Presentations 2017-03-16
ECE Preview Day 2017-03-18


  1. Competitors may submit more than one project, however a Project Proposal is required for each submission
  2. Project Proposals must be submitted by Monday, March 14th 2016, the week of theMasterpiECE Presentation event and ECE Preview Day.
  3. To be considered for reimbursement for parts, you must present, attend Preview Day, and submit an itemized parts list with prices, and you may be reimbursed for all or part of your cost. Do not count on this.
  4. Project teams must consist of a maximum of 5 members.
  5. Projects must adhere to university guidelines and be appropriate for submission to the IEEE Wiki.
  6. Teams must consent to their projects and a short description being posted to the IEEE Wiki, MTU website, or other university-based social media platforms.
  7. No premade kits- projects must display significant electrical or computer innovation or modification
  8. Projects must be safe- no open flame, corrosive chemicals, live wires, or risk of electrical shock. Any hazards must be reported in project proposals for approval and properly contained.
  9. Clear your project with the ECE department via the project proposal if you use more than 24 volts or 5 amps
  10. Projects must be in working order to compete at the MasterpiECE Presentation event.
  11. To claim prize money, winners must be present to demonstrate their projects in full operational order at ECE Preview Day.
  12. Winners must agree to personally demonstrate or lend the ECE department your project to exhibit at high schools demonstrations and other events.
  13. Sabotage will result in instant disqualification
  14. No more than 10 projects per team

Previous Competitions

2016 Competition

A video of the competition can be found here.


  1. Physical Spectrum Analyzer AKA 'Snow Globe'
  2. Automated Resistor Sorter
  3. Third place tie
    • MIDI Floppy Orchestra
    • Internet Enabled Led Controller

Honorable Mentions

  • RC Aircraft
  • Arduino Uno Controlled Quadcopter

Other Projects

  • Binary Clock
  • Ultrasonic Cleaner
  • FPGA External Processor
  • Electric Trombone / Slide Whistle
  • IoTea, an internet connected tea kettle
  • Morse Code Transformer
  • Arduino Synced LED System
  • 10 Channel Arduino Light Show
  • Anodizing Power Supply
  • Frankenstein Robot

2015 Competition

A video of the competition can be found here.


  1. Large format Rostock Prisma delta 3D printer
  2. Telepresence robot
  3. 100W LED driver - 300W RGB LED display

Other Projects

  • Radian clock
  • Wads job randomiser
  • IOT temperature sensor
  • Creepy doll with light up eyes

2014 Competition

  1. Sound reactive light show
  2.  ???
  3.  ???

2013 Competition

  1.  ???
  2.  ???
  3.  ???

2012 Competition


  1. Abi drink mixing robot
  2. Laser Piano


2011 Competition


  1. Fuserator
  2. Magnetic Stirrer

2010 Competition


  1. POV Fan Display