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Seven Successes of UNLV’s First CES

Seven Successes of UNLV’s First CES

Three students culminated 10 months of hard work by representing UNLV at the Consumer Electronics Show with a better way to pop popcorn in the process.

Research | Jan 13, 2017 | By Josh Hawkins, | By Raegen Pietrucha
  • A UNLV employee talking to an attendee at CES.

    Exposure, Exposure, Exposure. The question “What is UNLV?” was answered for several attendees of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which regularly attracts more than 175,000 techies from around the world. #CES2017 marked the first year UNLV had a booth at the show. (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

  • Dean Rama Venkat at a UNLV Engineering booth being interviewed by media.

    Expanding Our Reach. Rama Venkat, dean of the UNLV Howard R. Hughes College of Engineering, shared stories with members of the media (such as Cox Communications’ Sarah Evans, pictured right) about the great work happening in the college and beyond. (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

  • President Len Jessup shaking hands with student at CES.

    Building Rebel Pride. Because the smart microwave she developed with alums Youssef Abdallah and Alyson Weber was demoed at the CES booth, engineering student Michelle Mata was able to rub elbows with UNLV President Len Jessup, who dropped by to check out the innovation. (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

  • Michelle Mata explaining and demonstrating the smart microwave project she and her peers developed to several attendees.

    Extended Education. Michelle Mata explained and demonstrated the smart microwave project she and her peers developed to several attendees, including UNLV administrators, faculty, and fellow students. The microwave works through technology the young engineers designed that reads a special QR code on food packaging, which in turn instructs the microwave on how to prepare what’s inside.  (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

  • Dean Venkat and President Jessup both testing a virtual reality experience that a neighboring booth had created.

    Inspiring and Inspired. The excitement over technology traveled both directions. Dean Venkat and President Jessup both tested a virtual reality experience that a neighboring booth had created. (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

  • UNLV students talking to attendees at CES convention.

    Networking for Success. All three UNLV engineers who worked on the smart microwave got to wow attendees with their smarts … and gathered a few job leads in the process. (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

  • President Jessup with a crowd of people at CES convention.

    Connection on Many Levels. Although a love of technology initially inspired attendees to come to CES, the connections UNLV made with the community deepened as handshakes were extended, conversations began, and food was shared. President Jessup worked to make new connections, and maybe find a couple of future UNLV students along the way. (Josh Hawkins / UNLV Photo Services)

The whole world's going smart, but microwaves are somehow still dumb. Leave it to three UNLV students to find a way to adapt the humble microwave into a connected system, so you can nuke your food the 21st century way. 

Youssef Abdallah, Michelle Mata and Alyson Weber spent 10 months putting together a microwave for the Fall 2016 Engineering Senior Design Competition. It uses a QR code to get its settings and times right from the food placed inside — no more guesswork, and no more burnt kernels. It could single-handedly signal an unprecedented reign of interoffice peace from that alone. 

UNLV came to the Consumer Electronics Show for the first time in school history, where students and faculty got to show off exactly how the Rebel spirit drives innovation.

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