Design Contest for

Developing Communities

Sponsored by Afren Plc


The Longhorn Challenge for Developing Communities is an annual competition at The University of Texas in which undergraduate and graduate students across disciplines are invited to submit a sustainable system or product design for either developing domestic (U.S.) or international communities.



A winner will be chosen from each of two categories: (1) system or product for domestic developing communities, and (2) system or product for international developing communities. All entries must fall under one of the broad 14 National Academy of Engineering 21st Century Grand Challenges. (


Winners from each category will receive a $5,000 grant.


Who can enter:

Students can enter as an individual, or in teams. There is no limit on the number of team members. The competition is open to all disciplines from undergraduate and graduate programs. The final 5 applicants from each category (domestic and international) will be invited to compete in front of a panel of judges.


How to enter:

Students must submit a research poster or video describing your system or product. Examples of research posters and how to create them using PowerPoint can be seen at the links below. More examples can be seen hung up on the fourth floor of the ETC.


UT Guide

Youtube How To


Research posters can be submitted two different ways:


1. Electronically - Applications must be emailed to Dr. Christina White. We will print your research posters for you!

2. In Person – Research posters or videos on a flashdrive can be brought to Dr. Christina White by appointment.


Please send application and appointment times to


Judging Criteria:

Projects will be evaluated on the following criteria:


1. Clarity and thoroughness of the design process in the presentation

2. Impact of proposal for the underserved community

3. Feasibility of success

4. Consideration of future needs (financial, timeline, resource, etc.)


When designing your product or system, please keep in mind these five themes that are important to consider in any engineering project - Entrepreneurship, Service-Learning, Interdisciplinary Curriculum, Research Experience, and Global Dimension.


Dates and Deadlines:


Applications Due: Spring 2014


Competition: Spring 2014


Students will be given 20 minutes to present their idea – this includes 5 minutes to set up any necessary materials.


Competition Day Schedule:


9:30am - 9:45: Event Check-in (Please arrive on time!)

10:00 – 11:45: First 5 presentations

11:45 – 11:15: Lunch (will be provided)

11:15 – 1:00pm: Second 5 presentations

1:00 – 1:30: Judges deliberate and announce winners

1:30 – 2:00: Time to network!


If you have questions please feel free to email