Faculty of Engineering team wins 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup

15 April 2011

Electrical & Computer Engineering students have taken out first and second places at the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup.

Team OneBuzz, with their project to wipe out malaria, were named New Zealand winners of the prestigious technology competition at an event held at the Business School last night.

The team of Vinny Kumar, Kayo Lakadia, Edward Peek and Steven Kang won with their idea which uses technology to inhibit the spread of malaria and ultimately eliminate the disease.

Vinny and Kayo are two members of Team OneBeep, who won the competition last year and went on to place third at the worldwide finals in Poland.

“It is such a buzz to win this competition. It took months of sweat and tears to get to this point and the whole process from generating the original idea, through to seeing the project become a reality has been absolutely incredible,” says Vinny.

Team MCG, came second for their Sentinel project (Laser Defence System Against Mosquitoes), a laser beam system for killing mosquitoes.

In the team are engineering students Jonny Lin, Ceya Rao, Bharvesh Lal Maisuria and Tyson Scott Cabral.

Third place went to another group of university students called Team SkyEye. The team’s project is a software solution designed to prevent car accidents and improve road safety globally.

The final was held at the University as part of the Microsoft Imagine Cup Festival Day. After making it through the morning’s preliminary rounds, the top four of the 20 finalists presented their projects for 15 minutes to a panel of judges and an audience of friends and family.

“This year’s competition has raised the bar in terms of the ideas and the quality of the projects that were entered,” says Scott Wylie, Director of the Developer and Platform Group for Microsoft New Zealand.

“It is fantastic to see students of this calibre entering the competition, and with the Microsoft Imagine Cup growing year-on-year, the solutions to world problems are becoming limitless. The standard this year was extremely high and picking a winner was certainly a challenge for us.”

Team OneBuzz will now compete in an online qualifying round with the winning teams all over the world for a chance to represent New Zealand at the world wide finals in New York in July 2011.

The final judging panel was lead by Brett O’Riley, CEO for NZICT and head judge for the 2011 Microsoft Imagine Cup. Brett will also be heading to New York later in the year to sit on the panel for the Worldwide Microsoft Imagine Cup finals.

Others judges were Nikki Kaye, Auckland Central MP, Jenny Morel, Managing Partner, No8 Ventures, Colin Jackson, New Zealand Open Source Society, Greg Davidson, CEO, Datacom, and Andy Gordon, Platform Strategy, Microsoft New Zealand.

The Microsoft Imagine Cup is the world’s largest technology competition, challenging students from around the globe to develop technologies that help solve the world’s toughest problems. Now in its ninth year, the Imagine Cup is a competition with more than 325,000 students from 142 countries participating.

Read more about Team OneBuzz.

Read more about TeamMCG.

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