Patti Engineering, Inc. – a control systems integration company based in Auburn Hills, MI with offices in Massachusetts and Texas, served as a Special Award Sponsor for the 2011 Michigan Regional Future City Competition which took place January 31, 2011 at The Suburban Collection in Novi, MI. Patti Engineering sent a team of professional engineers to review and judge the entries to award the “The Patti Engineering Best use of Automation Technology Award”.

The Future City Competition challenges students to design a city of the future – and have fun doing it. This program was designed to promote technological literacy and engineering to sixth, seventh and eighth grade students. The program fosters an interest in math, science and engineering through hands-on, real world applications and helps students better understand the practical applications of mathematical and scientific principles.

From start to finish, volunteer professional engineers, scientist, teachers and parents mentor the student teams to build their city. Teamwork and creativity skills were developed as the students built computer and actual models, wrote essays and made presentations adhering to a set of rigorous standards. The middle school students were encouraged to confront real world issues in their futuristic cities, including: sustainability, social issues, health, medicine, transportation, and energy.

The Future City Competition is a national program sponsored each year by the National Engineers Week Committee. The Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) is the coordinator for the Michigan Regional Competition. More than 1000 students participated in the regional competition to present their vision of what Detroit will look like in year 2160. St. John Lutheran School from Rochester, Michigan will represent the Michigan region at the National Future City Challenge in Washington, D.C., February 18 – 22.

Patti Engineering awarded the “Best Use of Automation Technology” to Detroit Edison Public School Academy, Team 6, for their impressive “Thunder Land City” based on the review of their concept and two interviews with their team members. According to Sam Hoff, President of Patti Engineering and a judge for the competition, the team members were very professional and dressed in costume to portray the aspects of their city that they wanted to highlight. The automation technologies they had planned for the city that stood out were:

  • Education cost savings and efficiencies were realized by using holographic technology to simultaneously allow a teacher to teach multiple classrooms in different locations.
  • Artificial intelligence, the ability of a computer or other machine to perform activities that are normally thought to require intelligence, was used to maintain and upgrade their automation technologies.
  • Thunder Land City Police were accessing brainwaves of the citizens in order to catch crimes before they happened.
  • Moving sidewalks around the hospital allowed patients and visitors to enjoy the outdoors.
  • The students incorporated a large medical center in Thunder Land City, where stem cell research was being conducted. In addition, they had a “VD2000” machine that could instantly scan the external and internal parts of the body to detect any irregularities as soon as possible.
  • Thunder Land City’s public transportation system used capsules propelled by air, an interesting concept.

National Future City Competition.

The young aspiring professional engineers showed how automation technology was incorporated into their design. They also demonstrated an understanding of energy management, building automation systems, it systems and the need for control systems integration to make it all work together. The Future City Competition is an important educational tool for developing student interest in technology and engineering building a brighter future for America.

Sam Hoff confirmed his belief in the value of the Future City Competition, “We were very impressed with all of the displays, and choosing the single best use of Automation Technology was a difficult task. We very much support the Engineering Society of Detroit’s efforts to inspire the next generation of Professional Engineers. We look forward to participating in future “Future City” competitions.”