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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, October 1, 2013 4:50 PM
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Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Cross-Disciplinary Howard Team Wins First Place in Innovation Contest

WASHINGTON (June 25, 2013) – A team from Howard University has won first place in the 2013 Partnership for the Advancement of Collaborative Engineering and Education (PACE) Collaboration and Innovation Challenge. The team will travel to the 2013 PACE Annual Forum held July 21-26, in Pasadena, Calif., to present their winning project and accept the award.

The competition is an annual challenge aimed at promoting collaboration between students in different majors with the intent of fueling innovation in the areas of engineering, industrial design, manufacturing and market research. PACE is in collaboration with General Motors, Autodesk, Hewlett Packard, Oracle and Siemens PLM Software.

“I am elated about this win because the engineering students worked extremely hard on this project,” said Sonya T. Smith, Ph.D., chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, who participated on the team. “Considering that two of the three engineering team members were freshmen during the last academic year, this win is a testament to the caliber of students Howard attracts and their preparation by the mechanical engineering program.”

The Howard University was led by Grant M. Warner, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The team included Tony McEachern, Ph.D., interim chair of the Department of Art; Grant M. Warner, Ph.D., associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; David Smedley, M.F.A., associate professor in the Department of Art; Atiba Brereton, graduate student in the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Tyrone Clemons, M.F.A., a graduate student in the Department of Art; Matthew Clarke, mechanical engineering sophomore; Alicia Harris, a senior in the Department of Art; and Nicolas Hunter, a mechanical engineering sophomore.

The team tackled the issue of ineffective transportation in the Washington region. In their project, the team designed a more effective public transportation system, which incorporated new ideas to extend the bicycle sharing initiative in the region to include a pod car system, which would feature automated vehicles operating on a network of guide ways.


Founded in 1867, Howard University is a private, research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 30 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University's Web site at

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