Seniors Prove Mettle at Design Expo

images/ecomm05172010/design2a.jpgOn Friday, April 30th, graduating seniors showcased the culminating projects of their undergraduate years in a once-yearly expo that draws visitors from across the region. This year, for the first time, Senior Design Demonstration day was staged in the venerable Wilbur Cross building. There, scores of student teams discussed their projects, demonstrated prototype models and enthused about the experience of solving real-world engineering challenges.

The demonstrations are the grand finale to a process that begins many months before, when students embark on one- or two-semester design projects, often in close association with an industrial mentor or other sponsor and a faculty advisor. The projects immerse student teams in exploring a genuine design challenge — for example, a manufacturing plant floor problem or access issue for a disabled person. Working with the sponsor and faculty advisor, the students typically consider a range of possible solutions before selecting one for full-scale testing and development.

images/ecomm05172010/design2b.jpgDean of Engineering Mun Y. Choi remarked, “The Senior Design projects represent that euphoric juncture where students apply everything they have learned in the classroom toward analyzing and solving a genuine design challenge. Our students gain invaluable experience and insight about the types of real problems facing industry. In turn, our sponsors benefit from having smart, dedicated and creative students tackling these design challenges. It’s a win-win scenario for everyone.”

The April 30 event drew large crowds of visitors, including representatives from industry, UConn engineering alumni, proud families, Connecticut media and friends. A number of large projects spilled over onto the spacious Wilbur Cross stair landing outside, where attendees were able to view the projects in action. These included several projects, funded by the National Science Foundation and developed by Biomedical Engineering (BME) students, for 10-year old Annalee Hughes and six-year old Joey Toce — both of whom are afflicted with cerebral palsy — along with a solar array associated with an Electrical & Computer Engineering project. Please see this related story.

While most engineering seniors showcased their projects at the Wilbur Cross event, graduating seniors in the Management & Engineering for Manufacturing, Computer Science & Engineering, and Chemical Engineering programs presented their projects in separate demonstrations.

images/ecomm05172010/design2c.jpgThe Mechanical Engineering (ME), Materials Science & Engineering (MSE), Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), and Management & Engineering for Manufacturing (MEM) programs featured juried competitions in which top projects were selected for special awards. The awardees for each juried competition appear below.

The School of Engineering gratefully acknowledged this year’s corporate sponsors: Alstom Power, ASML, Bevilaqua Knight, Bodycote HIP, Capewell, Covidien, Dominion Nuclear, Dr. John Russell, General Dynamics/Electric Boat, General Electric, GKN Structures, Hamilton Sundstrand, Henkel Loctite, Integra-Cast, Jacobs Vehicle System, OSIM, Otis Elevator, Phonon, Pratt & Whitney, Qualtech, RBC Bearings, Rogers Corporation, Dr. Jonathan Russell, Siemon Company, Schick Wilkinson Sword, UTC Power, Westinghouse Electric, Windham Dental Group, and Wiremold Legrand. Other sponsors included the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, U.S. Army Research Office, the National Science Foundation and the UConn Foundation.

To learn about sponsorship opportunities for the 2010-11 school year, please contact the appropriate individual below:

Team Awards — Juried Senior Design Competition, 2010

Electrical & Computer Engineering

1st place
Project: Surface Contour Profiler
Team: Corey Benoit (EE), Joseph Larosa (EE), Kevin Perkins (EE), and Andrew Tan (EE/MGMT)
Sponsor: Phonon Corporation
Advisor: Mohammad Tehranipoor

2nd place
Project: Health Monitoring of Structures with Cable Members Under Tension
Team: Eric Snapper (EE), Jeffrey Urban (Computer Engineering) and Christopher Von Kohorn (ME)
Sponsor: Dr. Jonathan Russell
Advisors: Sung-Yeul Park (EE) and Kevin Murphy (ME)

Management & Engineering for Manufacturing – Poster Competition

First Prize
Team: Christopher Palko and Sonny Patel
Sponsor: Frito Lay

Second Prize
Team: Emily Wijas and Kristen Farley
Sponsor: Dymax

Third Prize
Team: Kyle Karpuska and Eric Sachs
Sponsor: Pratt & Whitney

Materials Science & Engineering

First Place Tie; Each team received $1,000.
Title: Optimization of the Thermal Treatment Process to Control the Austenite Reversion in Maraging 250 Steel
Team: Jeffrey Riesterer
Sponsor: Pratt & Whitney Aircraft
Advisors: Dr. Agnieszka Wusatowka-Sarnek (industry) and Mark Aindow (faculty)

Title: Design and Test a Magnetic Shape Memory Actuator
Team: Shawn Fonseca, Nicholas Carroll and Michael Santone (ME)
Sponsor: General Electric
Advisors: Thomas Papallo (industry) and Pamir Alpay (faculty)

Mechanical Engineering

Professor’s Award – $1,500
Title: CGS Shearing Interferometry Adapted to the Nano-World
Team: Christopher Madormo and Maxim Budyansky
Sponsor: University of Connecticut
Advisor: George Lykotrafitis

First place – $1,500
Title: Design and Test a Magnetic Shape Memory Alloy Actuator
Team: Shawn Fonseca and Michael Santone
Sponsor: General Electric Consumer & Industrial
Advisors: Tom Papallo and Brent Kumfer (sponsor) and Jiong Tang (faculty)

Second place – $1,000
Title: Metering Tank Bearing Failure & Design Analysis
Team: Erik Kong and Stephen Symski
Sponsor: Rogers Corporation
Advisors: Chad Waddell (sponsor) and Bi Zhang (faculty)

Third place – $500 [tie]
Title: Cyanoacrylate Fixture Time Measuring System
Team: Steven Cios, Michael Galdo and Jeffrey Rudolph
Sponsor: Henkel Loctite
Advisors: Pat Courtney (sponsor) and Chengyu Cao (faculty)

Title: Compact Jaw Force Measurement Device
Team: Brendan O’Brien, Anne McManus and Beau Larrow
Sponsor: Windham Laboratories
Advisors: Dr. Dennis Flanagan (sponsor) and Horea Ilies (faculty)

Categories: Amvrossios Bagtzoglou, Army Research Office (ARO), ASML, award, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering, Headline