Four Engineering Students Compete in Nationally Televised Make48 College Challenge

Four University of Miami College of Engineering (UMCoE) students competed in the Make48 College Challenge, a competition that airs on public television stations across the country. The College Challenge took place August 10-12, 2018, in Baltimore and the workspace is being provided by the Stanley Black and Decker Innovation Lab in Towson, MD. UMCoE is one of only 12 universities and colleges invited to assemble a team of undergraduate student makers to compete in the Make48 College tournament.

UMCoE members of the Raising ‘Canes team are:

  • Vanessa Baillie, BSBE ’18 (Team Leader)
  • German Acosta, BSASE ’19
  • Ellery Jones, BSBE ’18
  • Michael Tenuta, BSME ’18

The competition is geared toward undergraduate students and spring 2018 graduates are eligible to compete. Baillie, Jones and Tenuta all received their engineering degrees during the May 11 Commencement ceremony. In July, Baillie will be working for Cardinal Health in Chicago as a part of a rotational engineering program working to design medical devises. Also, Jones will be pursing her PhD in biomedical engineering with a focus on biomaterials and tissue engineering at Duke University in the fall. Tenuta is working in the area of robotics and additive manufacturing and Acosta will be finishing his bachelor’s degree.

“We have a great team dynamic; we’ve worked together for years and we know we work well together,” Jones said. “As a group, we have diverse research experiences not only within our fields of study, but we have experience with academic research and industry internships. I think by combining all of our skills we’re going to be a superstar team.”

This is the fifth Make48 contest and the first tournament inviting colleges to participate. Student teams have 48 hours to plan, prototype and pitch a new product idea to meet a market challenge. The 12 universities and colleges competing are Georgetown University; Kansas Art Institute; Kansas State Polytechnic; Michigan Technology University; Rice University; School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Tulane University; University of Connecticut; University of Illinois; University of Miami; University of Nevada, Reno; and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

“As an engineering student, I have learned to be an innovative problem solver. I am driven by the idea of using my engineering knowledge to create new and innovative solutions to solve real-world challenges. I enjoy the whole process,” said Baillie. “Each team member not only enjoys designing and building, but also demonstrates an entrepreneurial spirit and desire to take ideas to the marketplace.”

Make48 is a television documentary series supported by innovation industry leaders like Stanley Black and Decker, Ace Hardware and QVC. The August college competition kicks off filming for Season 3. Viewers can get caught up on Season 1 by going to Amazon Prime Video,, APT (American Public Television) and

For Raising ‘Canes sponsorship opportunities, please contact Lisa Merritt at

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