Covestro International Data Science Hackathon, Covestro LLC

Covestro engages CMU students in chemical industry’s first global Data Science Hackathon

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Solving for the digital age
As the U.S. winners in Covestro’s International Data Science Hackathon, Team ParticleVision from Carnegie Mellon University will compete against regional winners from China and Germany at the Chemalytix conference in December.

Ninety students around the world compete to tackle real-world challenges

Pittsburgh, November 11, 2019 — Quality analysis, manufacturing maintenance and supply chain reliability are some of the most critical challenges facing the chemical industry today. How can the workforce of tomorrow help create a more sustainable and resource-efficient industry using data science and digital tools?

At the Covestro International Data Science Hackathon, held November 8-11, five teams of students from Carnegie Mellon University competed against each other to solve a real-world problem using data science. Simultaneously, students from Tongji University in Shanghai and RWTH Aachen University in Aachen, Germany, worked toward a solution in their respective regions. It was the first real-time event of this scale in the chemical industry.

Of the Carnegie Mellon teams that participated, Team ParticleVision earned the winning title with a solution to particle formation quality testing. On December 12, this team will battle other regional winners for the global title at the Chemalytix Conference that Covestro will host in Leverkusen, Germany.

“Open collaboration with universities, such as Carnegie Mellon, is the backbone of innovation at Covestro,” said Dr. Haakan Jonsson, president and managing director, Covestro LLC. “Together with bright, young minds, we can address the pressing challenges that affect our business and the chemical industry as a whole.”

Students were divided into teams of five, ensuring each group had a diverse knowledge of programming languages and methods as well as general skills relating to data science, engineering, business and communication.

Throughout the four-day event, the teams worked to solve real-world quality analysis, supply chain and production use cases, ranging from predicting the water levels of a major shipping channel to automating a consistent product quality testing method.

“We wanted to create an opportunity for our students to apply their data science skills to real-world problems,” said Allen Robinson, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, which organized the event.

Projects were ranked hourly, reflecting a scenario in which business partners provide periodic feedback and teams must draw conclusions based on limited information. Across all use cases, solutions were scored on presentation, content, technical solution and business case.

“We threw our toughest challenges at these students, and in an incredibly quick timeframe, they delivered innovative, viable solutions that reflect a deep understanding of data science. We couldn’t be more pleased with the energy, passion and creativity they brought to this competition,” said Jonsson. “It’s yet another example of what can be achieved through collaboration.”

This isn’t the first time that Covestro and Carnegie Mellon have joined forces to tackle real-world challenges. In 2018, they launched an initiative with the Pittsburgh Penguins, called “Rethink the Rink” which explores ways to make hockey safer through material solutions.

About Covestro LLC:

Covestro LLC is one of the leading producers of high-performance polymers in North America and is part of the global Covestro business, which is among the world’s largest polymer companies with 2018 sales of EUR 14.6 billion. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, construction, wood processing and furniture, electrical and electronics, and healthcare industries. Other sectors include sports and leisure, cosmetics and the chemical industry itself. Covestro has 30 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 16,800 people at the end of 2018.

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Covestro Contact:

Bob Walker, Phone: +1 412 413 2369

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