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The Pittsburgh Penguins, Covestro and Carnegie Mellon University Engineering partner for seventh annual ‘Rethink the Rink’ Make-A-Thon


Rethink the Rink 2024 will focus on improving the safety of hockey through neck protection equipment for players.

The Pittsburgh Penguins are teaming up once again with international giants of science and technology, Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and Covestro, the official innovation partner of the Penguins. This marks the seventh annual “Rethink the Rink,” a continuing showcase of innovation and ingenuity to make hockey safer at every level, from youth hockey to the NHL.

The signature event will run from March 4 to 8, 2024, and will encourage CMU students to use Covestro’s leading edge material technologies to develop innovative prototypes of hockey equipment at the University’s makerspace, TechSpark. The event will culminate in a series of prototype pitches to a panel of judges with expertise in professional hockey, advanced materials and hockey equipment, with the best prototypes potentially continuing development and becoming commercially available.

To learn more about the “Rethink the Rink” innovation partnership and this year’s Make-A-Thon project, watch this video:

This year’s Rethink the Rink Make-A-Thon is focused on an important safety measure in hockey - neck protection equipment to protect a player’s neck from skate blades. Following the tragic passing of former Penguin Adam Johnson in October 2023, more hockey teams and leagues are instilling mandates that players utilize neck protection on the ice.

Sixteen CMU students will have one week to ideate solutions, develop and test prototypes, and create a compelling presentation to explain their concepts to a panel of expert judges from the Penguins, Covestro, Bauer Hockey and CMU's College of Engineering. To help them achieve their goal, the students will have help from coaches, including materials experts from Covestro and hockey professionals from the Penguins.

“Safety is central to the work we do at Covestro,” said Samir Hifri, Covestro LLC chairman and president. “Combining safety with another of Covestro’s core strengths, innovation, to create an environment where the best and the brightest student minds can leverage insights from experts in hockey and material science is a win-win for all the organizations involved and the sport of hockey.”

The “Rethink the Rink” partnership began in 2017 when the Penguins, Covestro, and CMU joined forces to bolster player safety and foster a sustained pipeline of hockey innovation.

About Covestro:

Covestro is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of high-quality polymer materials and their components. With its innovative products, processes and methods, the company helps enhance sustainability and the quality of life in many areas. Covestro supplies customers around the world in key industries such as mobility, building and living, as well as the electrical and electronics sector. In addition, polymers from Covestro are also used in sectors such as sports and leisure, telecommunications and health, as well as in the chemical industry itself.

The company is geared completely to the circular economy. In addition, Covestro aims to achieve climate neutrality for its Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions by 2035, and the Group’s Scope 3 emissions are also set to be climate neutral by 2050. Covestro generated sales of EUR 14.4 billion in fiscal year 2023. At the end of 2023, the company had 48 production sites worldwide and employed approximately 17,500 people (calculated as full-time equivalents).

About Carnegie Mellon University:

Carnegie Mellon, cmu.edu, is a private, internationally ranked research university with programs in areas ranging from science, technology and business, to public policy, the humanities and the arts. More than 14,000 students in the university's seven schools and colleges benefit from a small student-to-faculty ratio and an education characterized by its focus on creating and implementing solutions for real problems, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation.

Find more information at www.covestro.us.
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Forward-Looking Statements 

This news release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Covestro AG. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Covestro’s public reports which are available at www.covestro.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments. 

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