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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Future engineers show off capstone projects

    Sara Brickley, right, a mechanical engineering senior, explains her capstone project, the Ventana Symphony Vertical Drive Mechanism Redesign, to Lauren Steel, a biology senior, at the Engineering Senior Capstone Fair yesterday in the Student Union Memorial Centers Grand Ballroom.
    Sara Brickley, right, a mechanical engineering senior, explains her capstone project, the Ventana Symphony Vertical Drive Mechanism Redesign, to Lauren Steel, a biology senior, at the Engineering Senior Capstone Fair yesterday in the Student Union Memorial Center’s Grand Ballroom.

    Senior engineering students got a chance to show off their creativity and technical prowess at the Sixth Annual Engineering Design Day, held yesterday in the North Ballroom of the Student Union Memorial Center.

    More than 50 teams of seniors from all majors in the College of Engineering presented their capstone projects to the public and competed for prizes awarded by a panel of more than 50 judges.

    The judges were comprised of volunteers from local companies, such as Raytheon, who perused the teams’ presentation tables while they were on display from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.

    Winning teams were presented with trophies or plaques and cash prizes ranging from $200 to $1,500.

    Projects varied greatly in theme and scope, ranging from the design of a large-scale dairy facility that could produce ultra-healthy frozen yogurt without sacrificing taste, to the construction of a home security robot with the ability to climb stairs.

    Teams either thought of their own project ideas independently or were given proposals from outside sources.

    Justin Almeleh, an aerospace engineering senior, served on a team that designed micro-air vehicles capable of surveillance and land mine detection. The project spawned from the micro-air vehicle club team members were already involved in.

    “”We just thought, ‘Let’s take this to the next level,'”” Almeleh said. “”‘Let’s make a senior design project out of it.'””

    The projects represented the culmination of the seniors’ technical and creative abilities, and most took close to an academic year to complete.

    “”We started by testing our product through a series of software programs,”” said biosystems engineering senior Winston Yu, whose team designed a method of treating the heart disease of aortic aneurysms by developing an instrument that conforms to the patient’s body. “”After the software steps, you get to the hard part of actually building it.””

    While some projects at the fair were only a few steps away from being developed into a real-world application, most were designed simply to prove their concepts could work.

    Many seniors said they planned to continue developing their projects.

    Exhibited alongside the senior capstone presentations was the Engineering 102 Solidworks Design Competition, in which newer engineering students competed to methodically solve open-ended problems using a 3-D mechanical design program.

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