Education & Career

Saul Walker AES Student Design Competition Rules

For detailed instructions regarding registration and submission process please follow this "link"

Student Design Competition format for 149th Convention

The video presentation of every finalist will contain pre-recorded materials covering the following points:

  • 1. *Presentation from the student finalist - 5 minutes
  • 2. *Feedback session by participant and judges - 10 minutes
  • 3. Q&A in chat or in external meeting - TBD


*Item 1 must be video recorded by the student finalist, and submitted as a video recording (on a phone is OK) no later than one week before the convention. Item 2 will be recorded before the convention with judges and SDA representative on ZOOM platform 











Check out D-Brief - Design Competition Contest of Abstract to get the oportunity to win free All Access badge for upcoming AES Convention! Deadline is 20th of August 2020!

>> D-Brief Rules

Check the previous Student Design Competition winners! 

>> Past Student Design Competition Winners!

The submission deadline for the upcoming Saul Walker Student Design Competition at AES149 - 22nd of September 2020!










Effective July 2018

Click here to download the PDF version of the rules and policies.

    1. Introduction
    2. Categories
    3. Eligibility
      • 3.1. Eligibility for a team
    4. Saul Walker Student Design Competition Exhibition
      • 4.1. Poster Requirements
    5. Online Submission Procedures
    6. Awards & Prizes 


1: Introduction 

The AES Saul Walker Student Design Competition is an opportunity for aspiring hardware and software engineers to gain recognition for their hard work, technical creativity and ingenuity, by participating in a worldwide contest at AES Conventions. Submitted projects should be design and innovative work, any prototypes and hardware devices appreciated. You should avoid pure scientific and theoretical project as they are more suitable for technical program of the convention and publication in AES Journal.


    -> Entry - 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.



    -> Participation - to participate as an individual or a group, a faculty advisor must recommend your project to represent your school. This should be the faculty advisor of your AES student section if one exists at your school or a trusted faculty member from your school if you are a student member of AES enrolled where a section does not exist (e.g; students who are members of AES regional student sections including the majority of regions outside North America, will have approval handled at their school by a trusted faculty advisor to ensure each school is appropriately represented.)


It is important to note that multiple students or groups from a school can submit their projects. Every approved project that is approved at the Student Delegate Assembly’s discretion will compete in the Student Design Competition Exhibition (discussed further in section 4). 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 between those who are entered in the competition as well as those attending the exhibition.


2: Categories

For the current state of Saul Walker Student Design Competition there is one category, suitable for both graduate and and undergraduate students.


3: Eligibility

To participate in the Saul WalkerAES 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. Register for a 4 day ALL ACCESS BADGE for the Convention Technical Program.
    3. Design and construct the project while you are a student affiliated with a college audio, software design, or engineering program.
    4. Be approved by your faculty advisor as the sole representative/group for your project.
    5. Submit your project description electronically according to the submission guidelines prior to the deadline. Late entries will not be accepted under any circumstance.
    6. Attend the convention in person.

It is the responsibility of each student to ensure eligibility, which must be maintained throughout the Design Competition.

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.

The Student Delegate Assembly reserves the right to disqualify entries that otherwise violate the criteria listed above. 

3.1: Team submission procedure

When submitting a project as a team, only one team member is allowed to register the project and must include all team member names on the submission form (see point 5: Online Submission Procedures). All team members require a 4-day pass to the convention, be current Student Members of the Audio Engineering Society and attend the convention in person.

4: Saul Walker Student Design Competition Exhibition

About four weeks before the Convention, project descriptions are reviewed by the Student Delegate Assembly to check that all rules 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 projects approval on the submission system.

To participate as a finalist in the Student Design Competition, finalists must attend SDA-1. Otherwise your submission can be disqualified. 

Students of all approved project descriptions will compete in the Saul Walker Student Design Competition Exhibition. This takes the form of a Poster Session during the Convention, where you may discuss, explain, and demonstrate your design. Judges will have your project description and corresponding AES member number, and will navigate the exhibition and evaluate your work and your presentation. 

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!

4.1 Poster Requirements

All entrants are required to prepare a poster (reasonably large) in the event that they are chosen as a finalist. Up to A0 posters are recommended. A poster should be self-explanatory, that is, be understandable even if the product designers are not present to explain, discuss or answer questions.

Content might include, but is not limited to:

    1. Heading (design name, designer(s), field of importance)
    2. Short description, significance
    3. Assumptions, key terms, and important limitations
    4. Background information, summary of prior work, theoretical foundation
    5. Construction documentation, block diagrams, sketches, photos
    6. Results, supporting data, graphs, tables, etc. (self-contained figure captions are 

As a part of the display, entrants are also required to exhibit or demonstrate their design along with their poster. Please bring any equipment necessary for your presentation. Standard European power (240V/50Hz) will be provided. A power socket will be provided (120 V / 60 Hz in the US; 230 V / 50 Hz in Europe).

If audio is being played back, this should happen over headphones wherever possible. Headphones and headphone splitters will not be provided and therefore it is expected that entrants bring their own.

Please contact the Student Delegate Assembly if you have any extra requirements, and we will accommodate to the best of our abilities. This event will be open to all convention attendees holding a full­ program badge, allowing students, educators, and industry professionals to learn about every Saul Walker Design Competition submission. Potential employers may be browsing the floor, searching for the next generation of product engineers!

5: Online Submission Procedures

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 "membernumber.pdf". For example. "12345.pdf".


2) Templates in both Latex and Word are provided .


3) Registration & File Upload 
Visit Select the appropriate competition and enter the required information. After submitting the entry form, use the online file upload tool to submit your project description. 


6: Awards & Prizes

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. Awards will be presented to the finalists at the second meeting of the Student Delegate Assembly (SDA­2) on the final day of the convention. Failure to attend this meeting may result in the award and/or any associated prizes being retracted.


Prizes may be presented to competition awardees upon or following the receipt of achievement certificates. The selection of these items will vary from convention to convention. Students should consider the prizes secondary 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 Committee, which 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.


Please direct all questions, comments, and concerns to the Student Delegate Assembly at


AES - Audio Engineering Society