Over 130 innovative senior design projects will be on display at the University of Connecticut on Friday, April 27, 2012 when engineering students demonstrate projects of their own design, often sponsored by companies across the region. The event will take place from 1-4 PM in Gampel Pavilion at the Storrs campus.
Visitors are welcome to come and explore the displays, and to meet with members of the student teams, industry representatives, engineering faculty and friends. Parking is available in the South Parking Garage behind the UConn Coop.
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. The projects immerse student teams in exploring a genuine design challenge – for example, development of expandable, biocompatible growing rods for the treatment of pediatric spinal deformity; an improved arc welding process; a regional port security enhanced video surveillance methodology; manufacturing improvements for energy cells; helicopter field repair solutions; a wireless interface for variable frequency drives; optimization of a pneumatic valve simulation model; and a variety of assistive devices for disabled persons.
Engineering seniors across all disciplines will be represented, and many of the projects are of an interdisciplinary nature integrating students from different engineering disciplines working side-by-side.
In the case of sponsored projects, teams work closely with the sponsoring company, which provides financial support, advising and the design challenge. In exchange, students research the problem, conceive alternate solutions, design and refine one device or method, construct a working prototype, and provide the sponsoring company regular reports as well as a working prototype. In many cases, the goal is to develop a new process or design rules to improve quality and/or efficiency in a process. Throughout the process, students apply the core concepts they learned in the classroom to an actual design project. These 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.