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Design by Harkness Alum Wins $10,000

Adam Munich awarded top prize for improvements to Tesla coil

Texas Instruments (TI) Incorporated selected Adam Munich, alumnus of Harkness Career & Technical Center, as the overall winner of the Engibous Prize in the sixth annual TI Analog Design Contest. The contest showcases the innovative projects and competitive spirit of today's future engineers. For his improvements to the Tesla coil, an alternating current electrical system, Munich was awarded $10,000.

Munich, a physics major entering his sophomore year at Rochester Institute of Technology’s College of Science, was among 450 collegiate participants.  

"I'm impressed by Adam's creativity and drive, especially as a freshman engineering student,” said Art George, senior vice president and general manager of TI's Analog Engineering Organization. “Witnessing the spirit of ingenuity he and all of the finalists demonstrated during this competition gives a great view into the exciting ways innovators like these can impact our world in the future."

To some, using equipment with high voltage electrical currents poses a danger. To Munich, it is an opportunity to learn more about electronics and their capabilities. In 2012, Popular Science Magazine published details on a portable x-ray machine that was invented by Munich, then a senior from Orchard Park High School who was enrolled in the Electronics and Computer Technology program at Erie 1 BOCES Harkness Career & Technical Center. He worked on the project for two years while at home using household items including a suitcase, pen and computer hard drive.  

“I’ve been building things for a long time, particle accelerators, X-ray machines, lasers,” Munich says. “It’s fun to shoot electrons very fast.”

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