You’re Invited! Engineering Design Day April 29

The University of Connecticut School of Engineering will hold its all-school Senior Design Demonstration Day on Friday, April 29, 2011 from 1-4 p.m. in Gampel Pavilion in Storrs.

Visitors are welcome to explore the more than 130 projects designed and built by engineering seniors and to meet with students, industry sponsors, engineering faculty and friends.

The displays range from an ergonomic prototype cooling sleeve that helps firefighters maintain a comfortable body temperature, and an all-terrain power chair designed for a child with multiple developmental disabilities, to a process that increases the reliability of adhesive shear testing for composite materials, and a computer model that accurately simulates the irregular motion of a descending self-guided cargo parachute. All engineering disciplines will be represented.

The demonstrations are the crowning achievement in a process that begins many months before, when engineering undergraduates embark on one- or two-semester design projects, often in close association with an industrial mentor or other sponsor, and a faculty advisor.

Dean of Engineering Mun Y. Choi remarked, “The Senior Design projects represent that exciting 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 projects immerse student teams in exploring a genuine design challenge, for example, a manufacturing plant floor problem or access issue for a disabled person.  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 the prototype.

Throughout the process, students apply the core concepts they learned in the classroom to an actual project.  The projects 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.

The event is free.  Parking is available for a nominal charge in the South Parking Garage behind the UConn Coop.

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