SASEHack Recap

Feb 21, 2016 · 4 min read

By Jinger Zeng

SASE hosted its first ever hackathon at National Conference this past year. The event challenges engineering and computer science students to solve a real world challenge in 24 hours. The lead sponsor of #SASEhack 1.0 was Booz Allen Hamilton. The challenge they presented to participants was to utilize IoT (Internet of Things) devices and cloud infrastructure to solve senior home health care issues.

Although most of the participants were first time hackers, everyone had a blast working with the hardware and learning about embedded systems development, container technology, and prototyping using 3D-printing.

The event started with a Docker container workshop (Docker is an open platform for distributed applications for developers and sysadmins) provided by Booz Allen Hamilton’s very own development engineer, Kevin Kingsbury.

Kevin Kingsbury, a Booz Allen DevOps engineer, teaches students about Docker

Mentors from TxRx Labs, Houston’s unique hackerspace, worked with teams all night long on embedded systems development and hardware hacking. Teams learned many new skills such as how to solder properly, how to work with sensors, how to use sensors to detect falls, and how to collect and analyze data.

Hacking in progress
TxRx lab mentors teaching students to solder

Teams even got a chance to learn about rapid prototyping using open source CAD tools and 3D printing.

TxRx lab mentors showing how to rapid prototype using 3D printing

Of course, participants also needed some downtime during this long day.These enginerds needed a quick energy recharge…

Down time at #SASEhack

Even mentors need some sleep….

It’s true that it takes breakdown to generate breakthrough. After an intense brainstorming, lack of sleep, coding, failing, and more coding, teams came up with amazing final stories and proof of concepts at the presentation stage.

Each team had a unique approach in their solution design, and everybody’s device worked! (That’s huge!)

Congratulations to the following finalists:

1st place ($1000): “Pea-Pod” by Chad Hoang, Eric Le, Thomas Chan from Houston

2nd place ($500): SEAMS (Smart Emergency Alert & Monitoring System) by Arnold Chang, Jenny Cheung, Vandana Karan, Naoki Yokoyama from Boston

3rd place($250): Heat Stroke Detector by Cissy Bai, Ivy Cheung, Shuyu Chen from New York

You can check out their projects at, and a timelapse video of the whole hacking event here:

So, what else did we make?

A watch with 3D printed case and programmed OLED screen, IoT ready.

And a special gift for our sponsor — “Mr. Edison”

Thank you to Booz Allen Hamilton for sponsoring the event. We are grateful to have had Kevin, Jaco, and Thomas as mentors, and Sandeep and Suki as judges.

Thank you to Houston TxRx Lab’s Roland, Mark, Wanjun, Patrick and Larry for their awesome tech support and mentoring in embedded system development, electronics design, programming, CAD and 3D printing.

Thank you to Houston Technology Center for hosting the event.

And thank you to ClusterHQ for sponsoring the food and beverages for the hackers!

Group photo at the beginning of hackathon with hackers, mentors, and sponsors

You can view the full album here.

SASEhack is looking to become an integrated part of our National Conference in the future with potential implementation at the regional and chapter level. The event will train our members in strong hands-on engineering skillsets and highlight interdisciplinary teamwork structures. We want to use SASEhack event series to engage computer science students, life science students, and engineering students in collaborative efforts.

SASEhack is all about problem solving by leveraging technology. Are you interested in becoming a SASEhacker? Join the Facebook group at

Feel free to hit the recommend button (♡ icon below) if you enjoyed this article! Thanks for reading! #SASENC2015

Originally published at


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