Keep Sparty Cool!  Design Contest


We all love Sparty. He’s the heart of the university: forever supporting its teams, bringing smiles to young and old and continually uplifting all who meet him.

Sparty’s suit is lovable, yet it is also heavy and makes him uncomfortable when he attends sporting events, appears on a hot summer day, or dances at a wedding reception. He often finds himself under high physiologic stress, and is thus at risk for overheating and dehydration. Therefore, we are seeking help from you, MSU engineers, to keep our beloved Sparty cool!


Design Goal – To design a cooling system for Sparty to improve his comfort level and reduce the risk of overheating and dehydration. Requirements include:

  • Present your design in concept with a computer generated model. (It could go into production at a later stage if your design is selected as the winner.) A picture showing Sparty’s suit is included below.
  • Provide a performance analysis for your design. Base your analysis on calculation/estimation of the cooling load of the system under different conditions. Some measurement data (e.g. heart rate, body temperatures, MET equivalent, etc.) taken for Sparty during his various activities are available upon request. (see contact information below) 
  • The system design should provide Sparty with a comfortable and safe environment for 40 minutes continuously (or in 20-minute increments)
  • The system design cannot alter Sparty’s appearance or limit his mobility (running, jumping, sitting, upper body motions, etc.)


Who May Participate?  – All undergraduate students from College of Engineering are welcome to participate!

You may form teams with a maximum of five members. Interdisciplinary teams with students at different grade levels are encouraged.


Submission Deadline – Apr. 30th, 2020


Evaluation Criteria –

  • Cooling performance (includes cooling power, duration, and comfort level);
  • Weight – the design is expected to be lightweight, preferably evenly distributed;
  • Safety – the design (equipment or material) should not pose any potential danger to the wearer; it should not generate continuous loud noises;
  • Feasibility – the design is practical and feasible;
  • Cost – includes material cost, manufacturing cost, and maintenance cost
  • Durability – allow for multiple uses and minimize upkeep cost; The cooling system should be able to last as long as the suit or longer. Be transferrable to subsequent suits;
  • Should be easily detached from the suit for transfer or suit cleaning.


Prizes – Three prizes will be awarded:

1st place will be awarded with $1000; 2nd place – $500; 3rd place – $250.


The design contest information is also available online at

Questions? Please contact Dr. Yuping Wang ( or Dr. Craig Gunn (


                                                                                           [Dimensions and other details - Available upon request]