The Avnet Tech Games IX Welcomes The Inaugural JDA Supply Chain Challenge

Saturday, April 12, the University of Advancing Technology campus in Tempe, Arizona will once again serve as the host for the Avnet Tech Games, now in its ninth year.

Avnet Tech  Games Logo

It was an honor for me to serve as Master of Ceremonies for this event over the last eight years, and see firsthand the way it has grown.

What started out as an opportunity to inspire the next generation of technology workers has become a cornerstone event of the Arizona SciTech Festival, an annual statewide initiative devoted to getting students of all ages engaged and excited about science, technology, engineering and math.

As you might expect, the Avnet Tech Games allows teams of college students to compete head-to-head across a variety of timed events based on real-world technical skills, from building and programming robots to coding Java-based applications.

There’s a lot more than pride on the line in these live and virtual events as well: the winning teams receive scholarship checks to help offset their tuition!

Just as Avnet the company would not exist without our supplier partners, the Avnet Tech Games also would not exist without the generous support of our suppliers and partners that help us create, facilitate and underwrite these events and prizes for the winning teams.

This year, I am especially pleased about a new event called the “JDA 2014 Supply Chain Challenge.” This event brought teams of two to four students together to form Littlefield Technologies, a fictitious manufacturer of digital satellite system receivers.

Just as they would in real life, each team had to assemble and solder a kit of loose components onto a motherboard, test the units, tune them, and conduct final testing on them before they ship to the “customer” – our judging panel.

The contest was more than just a technical exercise; it also tested each team’s supply chain skills as they related to forecasting, inventory management, pricing, capacity planning and other real-world materials management challenges.

The event was a great addition to the Avnet Tech Games, as well as a perfect example of how the Games continue to evolve, just as the technology evolves each year.

This particular event actually took place in February – some national events are held prior to the local completion on April 12 here in Phoenix – and I’m pleased to announce the winning team was the “Pony Express” from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas!

The winning team consisted of:

  • Matt Mulholland
  • Tushar Solanki
  • Aaron Barnard
  • Meredith Titus


I’d like to congratulate the SMU “Pony Express” team for winning the inaugural “JDA 2014 Supply Chain Challenge”, and I also want to thank the team at JDA for their active support of this event in particular, and the Avnet Tech Games as a whole.

Last but not least, I want to recognize and thank the many supplier sponsors, as well as the volunteer judges and coordinators – many of whom have been involved from the beginning – that make this wonderful event possible each year.

Congratulations to all the participants and winners to be announced on April 12th at the Avnet Tech Games awards ceremony!

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