Do you feel the desire to address a worldwide issue but you don't know where to start?

The ACerS President's Council of Student Advisors (PCSA) wants to bring students and non-profit organizations together to benefit global communities. The technical knowledge that you have attained in school can have an incredible impact for underserved communities.

The PCSA is hosting a competition for you to pitch your ideas to a panel of judges about how you can address a challenge that a community is experiencing. By utilizing your material engineering background, you should aim to show how improved materials/processes will benefit the community that is in need.


Pitch Competition Participants

Both undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to participate.

You may put together a team of up to 4 participants in order to develop a solution to a real world problem using material science.

Your pitch presentation must be between 8-10 minutes, and at least one member of your team must be at the competition on September 30 from 8am - 11am in order to present to the judges.

Abstracts will need to be submitted by the deadline shown below.

Your team will need to put together a pitch that includes the following items.

Introduction: Describe a specific community/need

  • Make note of what part of the world you will be focusing on, and the community of people you hope to impact with this technology.
  • Specify the problem that the community is facing.
  • Address the reason why this is an important problem that needs to be solved.
  • Need help thinking of some specific problems to solve? Refer to the 14 Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century.

Body: Propose a technical solution to the problem

  • This solution should focus on materials. Can be a new product or an innovation to an existing product.
  • Describe how the solution would work technically, and note if there are similar products in the market.
  • Make note of current research/publications that could back up your claim, if available.
  • Include what resources/infrastructure will be necessary to implement the solution into the community.
  • Address the following longevity issues: Is it sustainable? Will they be able to keep using this technology after a long period of time? What about maintenance?

Bottom Line: Provide a budget

If you were pitching this to investors, this would be information that they would want to know!

  • Put together a list of expected expenses. This can be a rough estimate.
  • Include information regarding how the technology will be funded. Will it be donated? Will the community have to come up with a portion of the money?

The PCSA Humanitarian Pitch Competition gives you the chance to solve real world issues with material science.

ABstract submission DEADLINE has been extended to september 16, 2019. Submit your ABstract today!


How to compete

  1. Submit your team's abstract below
  2. Present your 8-10 minute pitch at MS&T19 in Portland, Oregon. The competition will be held on September 30, 2019 from 8 a.m. - 11 a.m.

Please contact the PCSA External Partnerships Committee Chair, Victoria Christensen for more information.


  • 1st place - $500
  • 2nd place - $250
  • 3rd place - $150
  • 4th place - $100

Please contact us with any additional questions. We're looking forward to hearing your pitches!

Cash prizes sponsored by: