The judging for Phase 1 of the Automated Maintenance of Protection Systems (AMPS) Challenge run by Freelancer.com in collaboration with Arrow Electronics, the Bureau of Reclamation, and NASA Tournament Lab has come to an end! After a long, arduous process involving 21 entrants, 7 came out on top and are moving on to Phase 2 with 8 total successful entries. Our winners were:
- @maqsudbd (Mohammad Maqsudur Rahman)
- @matthewwolter (Matthe Wolter and Matthew Paul)
- @brettmwilson (Brett Wilson and Professor Jian Guo Zhu)
- @Mecasia (Two winning submissions) (Seyed Mohammadhadi Rahavi, A.Forotan, A.Mozaffarinia, S.Saffar, A.Sarami)
- @andresq007 (José Andrés Quintanilla)
- @multisequence (MultiSequence Inc.)
- @mikegemmer (Mike Gemmer)
Each and every entrant provided intriguing solutions, but these seven brought some truly outstanding work to the table, and as such, now have a shot at taking on and winning Phase 2. But what does that entail?
In Phase 2, our 7 Phase 1 winners will be given 5 months to create a prototype built directly in tandem with their successful Phase 1 submissions. Each winner will be asked to submit both written and video submission components. From there, up to 5 of the 8 successful entries will be selected to ship their prototypes to Colorado, USA, where Reclamation will test and judge the prototypes and pick our final winner!
With Phase 2 underway, we were curious: what did our Phase 1 winners take from the Challenge’s opening stanza? What were their highlights? So, we asked them, and we got some wonderful responses, from which we grabbed a few insightful snippets, both for us and for our future competitors!
Mohammed Rahman (@maqsudbd): “It was a great experience participating in the contest. The expectations were very clear with detailed documentation right from the beginning followed up by a webinar with live Q/A session.”
What we took away from this: Don’t miss out on the webinars! They have essential info straight from the people running the competition, and can shine light on things you may have questions about.
Brett Wilson & Professor Jian Guo Zhu (@brettmwilson): “This has been a really exciting challenge for us, as freelancer.com is the largest engineering crowdsourcing platform in the world and this is the biggest engineering competition Freelancer have ever held. We knew we were potentially up against thousands of engineers and technical experts worldwide.
The competition was run very professionally and well organised and gave us the opportunity to be involved with large key US organisations like the US Bureau of Reclamation and NASA to help solve a major engineering problem. Working to improve operation and reduce power outages affecting key renewable energy hydroelectric power plants was an added bonus as we fully support renewables.”
What we took away from this: You never want to miss out on a project this big! Getting a win in a competition connected to such big organizations and competitors, it’s a feather in the cap of anyone to be a part of it, let alone win. So don’t hesitate to give these kinds of challenges a shot!
Seyed Rahavi and team (@Mecasia): “For this challenge our technical team brought up two solutions to cover Reclamation requirements with different approaches. This took a huge amount of team work to provide accurate details and the challenge result proves this in phase one. Our team planned to be the final winner as well and we put all our efforts into accomplishing this…”
What we took from this: Don’t be afraid to collaborate! Teamwork is a huge part of success, especially in an industry like the freelance landscape, where so many singular professionals are working together to complete quality projects.
This team’s multiple winning submissions show the kind of impressive work that can be done when a group of professionals put their heads together for the betterment of a great cause like AMPS.
Jose Andrés Quintanilla (@andresq007): “It has been a personal satisfaction to be again involved and to contribute to the industry of fossil-free energy generation. I look forward to more projects in the same field and to see the industry make a bigger positive impact in the environment.”
What we took from this: Challenges that address important issues bring more satisfaction!
We love being able to collaborate with organizations that find solutions to large scale, important issues, and we’re glad our competitors do too! On top of prize pools and recognition, making a difference in the world can never be understated.
Mike Gemmer (@mikegemmer): “This is my first project on Freelancer.com, and my expectations were based on my experiences with other contest sites. When I started the project, I expected to have very little communication with the Freelancer site, other than receiving the Challenge Brief and accepting my final submission. I was very wrong! The amount and quality of the information available from the site, both from other users and Freelancer staff, was extraordinary. Questions posted were answered quickly and expertly. The Challenge Webinar provided a wealth of information, and frequent updates on the Challenge Page made the whole process much easier. On the rare occasions that I had trouble navigating the site, help was available with a quick chat. I entered the contest alone, but I really feel like I'm now part of a community.”
What we took from this: These challenges bring our community together!
A lot of times, freelancers work with clients, but don’t have interaction or competition with other freelancers in the community. The AMPS Challenge (and Challenges like it) give the freelance community a chance to come together, partner, and push each other to be their best professional selves. So if you’re looking for a way to engage your fellow freelancers, these Challenges may be exactly what you need!
Overall, we’ve learned a lot from our winners, both with their solutions and with their feedback. More than anything, we’ve learned that things are never perfect, and can always be better. As we run more and more of these Challenges, we’ve come to realize that the easiest way to improve them is through our competitors themselves. So please, think about jumping into the next Challenge that comes up! We’d love to learn from you, and we always love giving our community an opportunity to get a big win while making an even bigger difference!
Interested in joining similar challenges? Visit these currently ongoing challenges:
Risky Space Business: NASA AI Risk Prediction Challenge (submission deadline: February 7, 2022). Find more information here: https://www.freelancer.com/contest/Risky-Space-Business-NASA-AI-Risk-Prediction-Challenge-2008562
Detecting Emerging Threats in Injury and Violence Using Network Science Challenge (submission deadline: January 5, 2022). Find more information here: https://www.freelancer.com/contest/Detecting-Emerging-Threats-in-Injury-and-Violence-Using-Network-Science-2019614