Saul Walker Student Design Competition


March 2024

Entries Open


June 2024

Entries Close


June 2024



June 2024

Results & Feedback

A unique opportunity for aspiring
hardware and software engineers
to participate in a worldwide contest
during AES Conventions
and gain recognition for their hard work,
technical creativity and ingenuity.

Thompson Christoph - AES Student

Christoph Thompson

Director, AES Student Design Competition

Professor at University

A unique opportunity for aspiring
hardware and software engineers
to participate in a worldwide contest
during AES Conventions
and gain recognition for their hard work,
technical creativity and ingenuity.

Thompson Christoph - AES Student

Christoph Thompson

Chair, AES Student Design Competition

Director of Music Media Production at Ball State University

Rules & Policies

The AES Student Design Competition is an opportunity for aspiring hardware and software engineers to participate in a worldwide contest during AES Conventions and gain recognition for their hard work, technical creativity and ingenuity. If you wish to participate as an individual or a group, a faculty advisor must recommend your project to represent your school in either the Undergraduate or Graduate category. 


Students from both audio and non-audio backgrounds are encouraged to submit entries. Few restrictions are placed on the nature of the projects, but designs must be for use with audio. Examples include loudspeaker design, DSP plug-ins, analog hardware, signal analysis tools, mobile applications, sound synthesis devices, and workflow solutions. Products should represent new, original ideas implemented in working-model prototypes.


It is important to note that multiple students or groups from a school can submit a project. Students who are not competing are strongly encouraged to attend the Student Design Competition Exhibition. This is a learning opportunity for all students through feedback, constructive criticism, and conversation.

To participate in the AES Design Competition, you must:


1.    Be a current Student Member of the Audio Engineering Society. Join at Please note that fees vary by region.

2.    Design and construct the project while you are a student affiliated with a college audio, software design, or engineering program.

3.    Be approved by your faculty advisor as the sole representative/group for your project.

4.    Submit your project description electronically according to the submission guidelines prior to the deadline.


If a project is designed by a team of students all team members must, at minimum, also be enrolled students affiliated with a university audio program, which will be verified through the respective faculty advisers. To present as a team all team members must meet the complete eligibility criteria. Violation of these rules will result in disqualification. Late entries will not be accepted under any circumstance.


Once a project is submitted to an AES Student Design Competition, it is disqualified from future competitions. This also means submitting revised or modified designs of a previously submitted project is prohibited. Additionally, the submission has to be conceived as a student project. It must not have been developed with the goal of being marketed as a commercial product in affiliation with a company providing funding.

March 1st: Submissions Open

June 1st: Submission Deadline

June 10th-14th: Adjudication Period

June 15th: Results Announced

Prior to the AES Convention, project descriptions are read by members of the AES Education Committee and student delegates. Student delegates examine the submitter’s work to ensure all submission guidelines are followed, and all work is original before forwarding the descriptions to the judges. Over the following weeks, judges will have the opportunity to form preliminary evaluations of each project. You can check the status of your project’s approval on the submission system.


All approved project descriptions will compete in the Student Design Competition Exhibition. This competition format has been adjusted for online streaming capabilities. The current layout consists of: a 5 minute pre-recorded presentation of the design by student(s); video feedback from judges; and an online Q&A lasting no longer than 2 minutes. By entering the competition, you also agree to have your video submission and project showcased for future promotion of the student design competition.


Projects will be judged on the basis of originality, creativity, usability and interface design, and context within currently available technology. Make sure your design is new, exciting, and practical!

1)    Create a 4-8 page write up describing your project and communicating your design to the judges. You may use any combination of diagrams, schematics, code blocks, and text. Save your file as “AESmembernumber_lastname_SDC.pdf”. For example. “12345_johnson_SDC.pdf”.

2)    Templates in both Latex and Word are provided .

3)    Visit the 2024 Saul Walker Student Design Competition Online Submission Form to upload your formal submission and project materials

4)    Submit a link to a publicly accessible YouTube video adhering to the following guidelines:

a.    Length: 3-5 Minutes

b.    Quality: as high as possible, minimum 480SD

c.    It can be any combination of screen recording, video, and graphics as long as:

                                               i.         The intent of your design is clearly conveyed

                                             ii.         The design is shown in operation and results are demonstrated

                                            iii.         All important design details are covered

                                            iv.         All video is your own and does not infringe on any copyright

d.    Videos must remain accessible up to the end of the 2024 AES Convention.

e.    By entering the competition, you agree to let AES use your submission materials, including the video, as educational resources and to promote future competitions.  

Judges may recognize outstanding projects by conferring merit awards of Gold, Silver, Bronze, and Honorable Mention. Any combination of awards is permitted, as long as it does not exceed four awards per category. Winners will be announced and prizes presented shortly after the end of the competition. Specific dates for award announcements TBA.


Prizes may be presented to competition awardees upon or following the receipt of achievement certificates. The selection of these items will vary based on the generosity and intentions of competition sponsors. Students should not expect to receive prizes in addition to their honorary certificates, which represent an extraordinary accomplishment of which awardees should be extremely proud.


Prize distribution shall occur at the discretion of the AES Education Vice Chair, who reserves the right to assign prizes to individuals or their respective institutions based on the number and value of available items, the intentions of the donating sponsors, the number of competition awardees, the number of participants per entry, and the levels of recognition received.

·      Shortlisted contestants/teams will be invited to showcase their projects at AES conventions 

·      The final format of the showcase will be announced at least 1 month before the convention 

·      Authors will be encouraged and offered support for submitting their project for publication as an Engineering Brief paper at AES Conventions 


Please direct all questions, comments & concerns to