For engineers who think they are "big brains"

A new show on the Discovery Channel gives people who are good at technical puzzles a chance at temporary fame and a $5,000 prize.

Do you think you're hot stuff when it comes to solving technical problems? You can get a chance to prove it and earn $5,000 in the bargain if you compete in a contest being run by a TV show called The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius.

The show airs Wednesday nights at 7pm E/P on the Discovery Channel. According to the show's promo material, the contest "dares at-home viewers to present their own solutions to the show’s 'Blueprint Challenge,' put forth at the beginning of each episode to the show’s contestants, then tested by two competing teams."

The series presents a tough engineering challenge to 10 contestants who have varied engineering and design backgrounds and levels of experience. The winner of the competition earns $50,000 and a one-year contract to work at WET, the same outfit that designed the Fountains of Bellagio in Las Vegas.

The first winner of $5,000 is Kieran W., 23, a 2012 graduate of the University of Notre Dame, who figured out the "Bigger, Better Blueprint Challenge" from Episode 4: Triathlatbots.

There are still four opportunities for another home viewer to claim a $5,000 prize. Full details on the competition are at

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The Editor’s Desk focuses on the engineering profession and its impact on society, trends in engineering compensation, and the education of engineers.


Lee Teschler

Leland serves as Editor-in-Chief of Machine Design. He has 34 years of Service and holds a B.S. Engineering from the University of Michigan, a B.S. Electrical Engineering from the University of...
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