The design innovations of over 400 engineering seniors were on display at Gampel Pavilion on April 27, 2012, just a week before the soon-to-be graduates strode across the same floor to receive their graduation certificates. Click below to view the video.
During the afternoon event, teams of engineering students presented their projects to hundreds of enthusiastic visitors from industry and the university, along with proud parents and prospective students.
Design day demonstrations are the climax of a one- or two-semester process in which student teams seek to solve a manufacturing, software or other product/process challenge, often in close association with an industrial mentor or other sponsor, and a faculty advisor. Students in all engineering disciplines must complete a major design project during their senior year. Projects requiring different types of engineering expertise feature multidisciplinary teams and a more systems-oriented approach.
In the case of sponsored projects, teams work closely with the sponsoring company, which provides financial support, a specific design challenge to be addressed, and a company advisor. In exchange, students research the problem, conceive alternate solutions, design and refine one device or method, construct a working prototype or computer model, and provide the sponsoring company regular reports as well as a working prototype. Company sponsors reap enormous benefits from the process, including the opportunity to interact closely with, and vet, prospective employees.
In many cases, the goal is to develop a new process or design rules to improve quality and/or efficiency in a process. Some of the design projects focus on the development of assistive devices for persons with physical limitations. Others involve product or process improvements for manufacturing processes, the development of automated processing methods, new protocols and quality assurance measures.
Throughout the process, students apply the core concepts they learned in the classroom to an actual design project. These experiences provide hands-on learning opportunities and expose students to the challenges and satisfactions of solving real-world dilemmas, from the problem definition stage to prototype development.
To sponsor a senior design project for the 2012-13 term, please contact Mike Accorsi at firstname.lastname@example.org before August 1.
View photos from the 2012 Design Day Demonstrations here.