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Penguins, Covestro and Carnegie Mellon Reunite for 'Rethink the Rink'

'Make-a-thon 2020' explores innovation opportunities in protective padding

by Pittsburgh Penguins @penguins / Media Release

Today, Covestro, the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carnegie Mellon University's (CMU's) College of Engineering will reunite for the third annual Make-a-thon, as they continue to "Rethink the Rink" in a unique collaboration to make hockey safer. With a strong performance record and two innovative concepts already in the net, the Rethink the Rink team is setting up for a hat trick in its third year. The 2020 Make-a-thon will explore a new aspect of hockey innovation - protective padding.

To learn more about the evolution of Rethink the Rink, watch this video:
bit.ly/RethinkTheRink2020 .

"Over the last two years, we developed safer solutions for rink dasher boards as well as goalie helmets," said David Morehouse, president and CEO of the Penguins. "This year, we're going to shift our focus to shoulder pads and elbow pads, which have as much impact on player performance as they do on protection. With bigger players, faster pucks and stronger shots, we have a real opportunity to drive safety through innovation."

Make-a-thon 2020 will bring together diverse teams of CMU students for a weeklong ideation event at the school's Tech Spark facility, starting today. The students will have access to advanced materials and technical expertise from Covestro, as they explore ways to further improve upon shoulder and elbow pads. Their engineering challenge is to uncover material solutions that will provide players with a greater range of motion and flexibility without compromising protection.

"The Make-a-thon not only gives students an opportunity to apply their problem-solving and analytic skills to a real-world challenge, but also to expand their professional networks beyond the academic setting through collaboration with industry experts," said William Sanders, Dean of CMU's College of Engineering. 

The passionate student innovators are giving up their spring break to develop, design and build basic prototypes. The intense week culminates with a presentation and awards ceremony March 13 at the Covestro Innovation Rink in the UPMC Lemieux Sports Complex, which serves as a testing ground for the innovative concepts and ideas coming out of Rethink the Rink.

"We've already seen promising results from this collaboration, so we're looking forward to seeing how the students approach this year's challenge," said Haakan Jonsson, chairman and president, Covestro LLC. "I have no doubt they'll continue to raise the bar a little higher - and push the boundaries a little farther."

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 2019 sales of EUR 12.4 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 17,200 people at the end of 2019. Find more information at www.covestro.us/rethink-the-rink.   

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