2013 North Carolina A&T State University FOCUSS Idea Competition Sponsored by Honda Aircraft Company and Honda of America Manufacturing

The presidios campus of North Carolina A&T State University was the site of the FOCUSS (Framework for Opportunity Convergence and the Utilization of Sustainable Solutions) Idea Competition, which was held 6 November 2013.

Created to stimulate constructive thought surrounding concepts of innovation and discovery, the FOCUSS Idea Competition provided students a unique opportunity to share and cultivate creative solutions to a sponsoring corporation. Competition was open to all current North Carolina A&T State University students. The corporate Sponsor of the competition was Honda Aircraft Company and Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc.

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Areas of Concentration

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Green/Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Industrial and Systems Engineering
  • Computational Science and Engineering
Business Management and Economics


Platform for Idea Competition

Guided by the FOCUSS Areas of Concentration, students (with the optional assistance of associated North Carolina A&T State University faculty advisor) proposed an idea that resolved the following problem statement submitted by Honda Aircraft Company and Honda of America Manufacturing.

Reduce Aviation’s Impact on the Environment: The Aviation Industry has set goals to reduce their impact on the environment by improving fuel efficiency, and reducing noise and harmful emissions. Explore and/or develop a Vehicle Concept or Enabling Technology and explain why it could meet these needs for the aviation industry in the future. Also include a high-level cost effectiveness analysis (CEA) to justify the economic feasibility of your Vehicle Concept or Enabling Technology.

Idea Portal Opened: 27 September 2013

Idea Portal Closed: 22 October 2013

A total of five (5) ideas were selected from all of the initial submissions.

Live Competition and Luncheon: 6 November 2013

Finalists presented their "Idea" to an audience of peers, faculty, entrepreneurs, social entrepreneurs, and distinguished guests from Honda Aircraft Company and Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. Each finalist had eight (8) minutes to present the Idea to a panel of judges who then chose winners of the 2013 North Carolina A&T State University FOCUSS Idea Competition sponsored by Honda Aircraft Company and Honda of American Manufacturing, Inc.

Proposals were judged on the following criteria:

  • Innovative nature of the Idea
  • Creative nature of the presentation
  • Involvement of the University or business community
  • Potential impact of the Sustainable Solution
  • 1st Place - $1,000
  • 2nd Place - $700
  • 3rd Place - $400
  • 4th Place - $200
  • 5th Place - $100

Located in Greensboro, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University is a public, comprehensive, land-grant university committed to fulfilling its fundamental purposes through exemplary undergraduate and graduate instruction, scholarly and creative research, and effective public service. The University offers degree programs at the baccalaureate, master’s and doctoral levels with emphasis on engineering, science, technology, literature, and other academic areas.

As one of North Carolina’s three engineering colleges, the University offers Ph.D. programs in engineering. Basic and applied research is conducted by faculty in university centers of excellence, in inter institutional relationships, and through significant involvement with several public and private agencies. The University also conducts major research through engineering, transportation, and its extension programs in agriculture.

The purpose of the University is to provide an intellectual setting where students in higher education may find a sense of identification, belonging, responsibility, and achievement that will prepare them for roles of leadership and service in the communities where they live and work. In this sense, the University serves as a laboratory for the development of excellence in teaching, research and public service. Currently, North Carolina A&T nurtures ten thousand students.

Leading the Idea effort at North Carolina A&T is Samuel P. Owusu-Ofori, Ph.D, Professor and Interim Chair, Dept of Mechanical Engineering (pictured left); and Thaddeus McEwen, Ph.D., Professor and Director, ICEEB, Department of Management, School of Business and Economics (pictured right).


About Honda
Honda established operations in America in 1959, and now employs more than 33,000 associates in its North American sales, R&D and manufacturing operations with a capital investment of more than $22 billion.

Based on Honda’s approach of “building products close to the customer” Honda started local production of motorcycles in the U.S. in September 1979.  In November 1982, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to produce automobiles in the U.S.

Today, Honda operates 14 major manufacturing facilities in North America, producing a wide range of Honda and Acura automobiles, automobile engines and transmissions, Honda all-terrain vehicles, and power equipment products such as lawn mowers, mini-tillers and general purpose engines, using domestic and globally sourced parts.

The Honda philosophy is based on thousands of individual associates and suppliers working toward a common goal: worldwide customer satisfaction.

Leading the Idea effort at Honda of America Manufacturing is Ron King, Procurement Diversity Manager.

Honda Aircraft Company, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of American Honda Motor Co., Inc., was founded in 2006, though has its heritage in more than 20 years of groundbreaking aeronautical research and development. At Honda Aircraft’s world headquarters in North Carolina, the birthplace of aviation, the company’s associates work in more than 500,000 square feet of state-of-the-art R&D, manufacturing and administration buildings to develop, produce, market and support the HondaJet with HondaJet dealers. The challenging spirit upon which Mr. Soichiro Honda founded Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is alive today as Honda Aircraft fulfills one of Honda's longstanding dreams to advance human mobility skyward.

Leading the Idea effort at Honda Aircraft Company, LLC, are Samantha A. Magill. Ph.D., Flight Sciences Engineer; and Steven A. Johnston, Senior Division Director.




Registration is closed; this competition is complete.