Digilent Design Contest Europe 2015 Finals

The Digilent Design Contest Europe 2015 is finally over, and we can’t wait to share some of our favorite moments!


Talented students and advisers across Europe attended the finals of the Digilent Design Contest 2015 held at the Technical University of Cluj-Napoca on May 16-17. Some of them traveled from Italy, France, Serbia, Hungary, and other far-flung regions in Romania driven by the strong desire to show off the projects they have been working for the last four or five months with the Digilent hardware provided.

Digilent Contest Finals group picture
Contestants and judges from the Digilent Design Contest finals.

The honorary judges also came from across Europe (and the U.S.) from different fields, including:

  • Industry — Cathal McCabe (Xilinx EMEA), Ionut Gaspar (Microchip Romania), and Rick Hoover (CML USA)
  • Academia –  Thierry Gil (Montpellier University France), Prof. Gabriel Chindris, and Prof. Zoltan Baruch (Technical University Cluj Romania)
  • Digilent representatives from US – Clint Cole (CTO), Joe Harris (COO), and Garrett Aufdemberg (design engineer)


On the first day, after the opening session held by Mircea Dabacan (managing director of Digilent Romania), the proceedings took place in three separate rooms.

Mr. Dabacan Opening Session speech
Mircea Dabacan opening session speech.

This year, a lot of projects covered everyday life areas like environmental protection, home automation, health and security, and entertainment. The top four projects in each room were selected to be in the finals on May 17.


In the afternoon, we held a round table where we invited advisers and students to have open discussions about using and improving Digilent products. Gabriel McCabe from Xilinx shared latest information about software and hardware solutions.

Mr. McCabe from Xilinx EMEA speech
Gabriel McCabe from Xilinx EMEA speaking at the round table.

On May 17, the winning teams selected the previous day to compete in the final round again defended their projects again in a single room.


It was difficult to judge among the innovative and complex projects selected for the finals. This year was a first for the Design Contest — two teams were selected for the first prize:

  • Health and Security Cloud System – Eusebiu Burlacu and Sebastian Pascu from Gheorghe Asachi University Iasi, Romania, designed a chipKIT WF32-based project able to take ECG signal from the body, process the signal, and send samples in the cloud. It also monitors the patient activity and make available all information to the doctor via cloud system.
1-st prize: Health and Security Cloud System
First prize– the Health and Security Cloud System.


  • Portable Game Console – Guillaume Fauxpoint, Oussama El Fatayri, Serdar Sahin, and Hugo Bevilacqua from INSA Toulouse, France, created a project based on the Nexys 3 board to match the performance of a 16-bit gaming platform with multi-layer frames and scrolling.
1-st Prize Portable Game Console
The other first place winner — the Portable Game Console.


The second prize went to two teams as well:

  • RFID Travel Automation Gadget – Andrei Vlad Verdes and George-Radivoi Rosu from Polytechnics of Timisoara, Romania, built a small-scale prototype vehicle that follows a desired path using new radio-frequency identification technology with the aid of the Basys3 FPGA’s fast response time.
2-nd Prize: RFID Travel Automation Gadget
The second prize, the RFID Travel Automation Gadget.


  • The Globe of Persistence – Antonin Martin-Schouler and Nicolas Duminy from Telecom Bretagne, France found a new way of using the concept of the persistence of vision to create an impression of fluidity of movement and the illusion of a 3D object.


2-nd Prize: The Globe of Persistence of Vision
The other second prize, The Globe of Persistence of Vision.


The third prize and Xilinx University Program special prize went to FPI Droid House by Oana Valentina Rusu from Petru Maior University in Targu Mures, Romania – it is a monitoring and control platform based on the Nexys 3. It provides the possibility of controlling multiple houses from one single web interface and the possibility of using existing devices with minor changes.


3-rd and XUP Prize: FPIDroid House
Third/XUP Prize: FPI Droid House.

The most dedicated advisers who had a constant presence advising the teams through the duration of the contest were awarded “Best Adviser“: Stefan Oniga from North University Baia Mare and Cristian Gyozo-Haba from Gheorghe Asachi University Iasi.


Clint Cole and Mircea Dabacan were invited to a TV station to show the audience the innovative projects that were born from the DigilentDesign Contest.

Mr.Cole and Mr. Dabacan interviewed at a local TV station
Clint Cole and Mircea Dabacan interviewed at a local TV station.


All in all, the contest was a great experience for students, advisers, and Digilent Romania team as organizers. It not only showed technical skills, but also interpersonal relationships and communication, both of which are important for a successful future.


Soon we will post more photos on the Digilent Design Contest site.  Stay tuned to find out more details about the next edition of the Digilent Contest!

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