Cirris Systems Scholarship


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We are not currently accepting applications for the Cirris Scholarship.

Essay Guidelines

  • Essay must be 400-600 words.
  • Use examples and cite all sources.
  • Double check spelling, punctuation, and grammar.
  • Be creative with your ideas and writing.
  • Essay must be submitted by the deadline.
  • Late entries will not be accepted.

How to Enter

Enter all information on the form in the fields provided. Copy your essay onto the form or submit a link to the blog or website where your essay is located.

Scholarship Submission

Scholarship Rules & Regulations

Scholarship Rules & Regulations

 Applicant Eligibility

Applicant must be a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Legal Resident of the United States and may not be an associate (employee) of any division of Cirris Systems. Applicant must have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.5 on a 4-point scale and be enrolled in the upcoming college semester (Fall/Winter 2017/2018).  If the applicant or the applicant's parent/legal guardian is employed by Cirris Systems at the time of award, the student is no longer eligible and will forfeit the scholarship.

Description of Funds

The recipient will receive a one-time $1,000 scholarship to be applied to qualified expenses, including graduate and undergraduate tuition, fees, books, and on-campus room and board for the 2017-2018 academic year. Funds are provided by Cirris Systems. Payments are issued by Cirris Systems made payable to the student's approved college or university and mailed after August 15, 2017 directly to the accredited college or university last designated by the student.

Winner Selection and Announcements

The winner is selected after a team of judges reviews all entries. Applicants are judged on creativity, thoughtfulness, and insight. The winner will be announced two weeks after the scholarship submission deadline. If the winner does not respond within two weeks of notification, the student becomes ineligible and forfeits the scholarship.

College/University Approval

The institution must be accredited and listed on the official website of the U.S. Department of Education. All school transfers are subject to accreditation approval.

Responsibilities of Recipients

The recipient must be actively enrolled as a full-time freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, or graduate student in spring 2017 or fall 2017—barring illness, emergency, or military service. It is the recipient's responsibility to verify receipt of funds with their designated institution and notify Cirris Systems should the award check not arrive on or about 30 days from the issue date. Cirris Systems reserves the right to alter or discontinue this program at any time without notice.

Permission to Publish

By submitting your essay to Cirris, you are granting permission for Cirris to publish your essay in future publications.

Additional Questions

Contact us if you have questions about the Cirris Systems Scholarship Program.

Previous Scholarship Winners

Fall 2017

Essay Prompt
Over the past several years, the advancement of technology and the push to protect the environment led to a “paperless” movement. The idea was to eliminate paper consumption by communicating through digital means. Despite this effort to save paper, statistics show that paper consumption has remained steady or gone up.

Now society is shifting to a “wireless” movement. This means signals are transmitted to and from electronic devices without using wires and cables. For example, consumers can charge mobile phones without using a wire to connect the phone to an independent power source. If the wireless movement turns out to be anything like the paperless movement, the push to remove wires and cables from devices won’t lower the number of wires and cables being produced.

In your essay, discuss how you expect the wireless movement will affect the wire/harness industry. Will more wires and cables be produced (like in the paperless movement), or will wireless technology cause demand for wires and cables to decrease? Based on your answers, what do you think technology will look like in the future?

Fall 2016

Essay Prompt
As reliance on technology becomes more engrained in society and culture, manufacturing must keep up with demands. Companies are looking for cheaper and faster production methods without losing quality. Some companies outsource the work to facilities in other countries where labor is less expensive. Other companies invest in robotics to replace paying for human labor. Each method has advantages and disadvantages.

How will manufacturing change and improve over the next several years? Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of your idea?

Winning Essay

Joseph Lee
Southern Utah University

Joseph Lee There is an undeniable sense of uneasiness surrounding the topic of manufacturing technology. While manufacturers are constantly striving to streamline processes to create “leaner” companies, society so consistently demands compliance with the ethical responsibility to create jobs. In the next few years, technological advances will undoubtedly be implemented to improving the efficiency of modern manufacturers. This could very well leave us asking, “Where does that leave the men and women whose function said technology would replace?” It is a valid question, but I believe that in asking it, we are misunderstanding the role that new, effective technology will have in the workplace. New technology in coming years will be able to optimize the manufacturing industry while creating more jobs for the available work force.

At Lifetime Products, there is a robot worth over $50,000 which--while originally designed to assemble 100% the folding chairs for the company--is now rarely even powered on. Instead, the folding chairs are assembled and packaged by a team of 25 completely unskilled workers being paid $11 and hour. Meanwhile, in another section of the warehouse, equally unskilled workers constantly operate two large (and equally expensive) robots which execute the final complex welds on each basket ball hoop rim. Before the arrival of the robots, workers in the rims area had to be highly skilled welders who could manually perform each precision weld with consistency.

So why are the Rims robots constantly in use while the Chairs robot is, at best, a $50,000 eye-sore? Human ingenuity has always been a force to be reckoned with, but it’s lasting achievements have been to fulfill clear and present needs. The clear and present need for manufactures is skilled and highly skilled labor. This is demonstrated in the fact that over 80 percent of American manufacturers report a medium to severe shortage of skilled workers (National Association of Manufacturers).

While working on the chairs assembly line, I remember racing the robot once or twice to see if it was any faster than four or five workers using basic riveting machines. The workers were always the unchallenged winners of such races, and that was why we reasoned that the company refrained from using the robot. However, the fact that the company has yet to further research into accelerating the robot’s performance speaks volumes. Society does not need to worry about technology that may replace unskilled labor, because unskilled labor is not a resource for which we stand in need.

The Rims robot filled a need perfectly. It allows unskilled workers to produce the same product that was previously only possible to the scarce group of highly trained, highly skilled workmen. These are the kind of technological improvements we can expect in the coming year in manufacturing. With these changes we will have to redefine the types of highly skilled workers that are needed in the workplace. In the case of the robots, maintenance workers are needed to keep them running. However, such technology fills the skill gap by replacing the need for 10-20 skilled workers with a need far more proportional to the actual “skilled vs. unskilled” composition of the available workforce--1-2 skilled workers and 10-18 unskilled workers.

I believe we have reason to be very hopeful for the future of the manufacturing industry. As technology enters the equation, it will undoubtedly change fundamental aspects of our manufacturing processes. We will continue to prove that the only thing constant is change, but that within that change we can fulfill many of the needs of our growing population.