Monthly Archives: May 2020

Unable to gather on campus for the traditional public showcase of projects a year in the making, students presented their creations — including biomedical devices, space exploration tools and sustainable building materials — online, and got their due in a virtual awards ceremony.

For nearly two decades, the University of Arizona College of Engineering Design Day has been a celebration of seniors, who spend their yearlong capstone course designing and building technology for industry and university sponsors. COVID-19 restrictions meant that this year’s students could no longer work together in person, and that timelines were cut short. Through it all, they exemplified what good engineering is all about: creativity, ingenuity and unmatched problem-solving skills.

Physical distancing also meant that students’ work had to be showcased and rewarded differently. All 115 capstone teams submitted video presentations of their projects for evaluation by external judges and award sponsors. At the first-ever virtual Design Day  awards ceremony on May 5, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jim Baygents announced the winners of cash prizes totaling $44,750.

“After these numerous unprecedented challenges, Design Day is a celebration,” said David Hahn, Craig M. Berge dean of the college, welcoming the more than 450 online attendees. “It’s a celebration of your success, and of the Wildcat spirit.”

An Alum’s Legacy

Before anyone realized that 2020 would mark the first-ever virtual Design Day, it was clear the event would be special. It was the first year the day was celebrated as part of the college’s new Craig M. Berge Engineering Design Program.

Craig M. Berge earned his degree in mechanical engineering at the University of Arizona in 1957. After his passing in 2017, his family, including his wife and fellow UA alum Nancy, made a generous gift to the college. The funds endowed a dean’s chair and named a program that provides hands-on design experiences for undergraduates at all levels.

“Craig loved to design and build things,” Nancy said in an opening message to students. “So, I know he would cheer you on as you faced every obstacle this year. He’d smile at the creative solutions you came up with. And he’d be thrilled by your brilliant designs. But most of all, he would love the caring and support you’ve given each other. Craig had a big heart, and he cared for everybody. By helping one another and working together, you’ve made it to the end of this program that now bears his name.”

Biomedical Projects Shine

The winners of the $7,500 Craig M. Berge Dean’s Award for Most Outstanding Project created an osteotomy guide for distal tibia deformity correction for Paragon 28, a Colorado-based company specializing in products for foot and ankle surgeries. This surgical procedure involves either removing or adding a wedge of bone to a patient’s tibia to properly align it with the ankle joint — relieving osteoarthritis symptoms and preventing pain in the hips, knees and lower back. In the current procedure, surgeons look at the surgical site using radiographic visualization, place pins to guide the cut, and do any corrections freehand.

“This has a high risk of error and requires a high level of skill, which prevents less-experienced or less-specialized surgeons from being able to perform this procedure,” said biomedical engineering team member Melissa Requist. “Our device improves upon these issues by allowing surgeons to make accurately measured and repeatable cuts.”

Their efforts were a testament to the can-do spirit of Wildcat Engineers. They initially worked with surgeons who tested their device on cadavers, but when COVID-19 restricted possibilities, they performed testing themselves on a model skeleton. After creating 23 iterations of the device, the team applied for a provisional patent and took the day’s top prize.

The $5,000 Raytheon Missile Systems Award for Best Overall Design went to a biomedical project as well. The team, which also won the Rincon Research Award for Best Presentation, created a sensor to measure the levels of fluid reagents for Tucson-based sponsor Roche Tissue Diagnostics.

The W.L. Gore and Associates Lifelong Innovation Award went to an Intel sponsored team. The students developed an easy-to-use system for gathering data about epileptic seizures. The device can be used to train an artificial intelligence system to recognize seizures occurring while a person is sleeping. Ultimately, this could lead to technology that alerts caregivers to when a seizure is occurring.

“This project has prepared me for life after school, as I’ve learned professional, social and academic skills that will have an impact on my professional career,” said team member Alejandro Ortega, a biomedical engineering student. “I also learned the value of getting out of your comfort zone to achieve great things.”

Toward a Sustainable World

Many teams focused on generating sustainable solutions to various problems.

The first-prize winners of the Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use developed a transportable renewable energy system for sponsor Tucson Electric Power to use in remote locations that lack power lines. The second-prize winners, sponsored by the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, explored the idea of powering cellphones with highly efficient, nontoxic microbial fuel cells, which get their energy from sewer water or wastewater treatment plants.

Another team designed a water reclamation system for the locally based chain Mister Car Wash, and a group of chemical engineers developed a plan for creating vertical vegetable farms in abandoned shopping malls.

Students who took home the Delta Development Team Award for Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation created a method for building bricks out of recycled plastic. Their aim was to reduce waste while providing a quick, affordable way to construct emergency shelters for people displaced by natural disasters. The team, which called its conceptual startup “Briccycle,” tested ways to fuse the plastic into bricks — including using a clothing iron and a pressure cooker. In the end, it was another household appliance that successfully molded three types of plastic into a solid brick: a toaster oven.

“When COVID-19 became a global pandemic, we had to stop our prototyping, and we quickly switched to a paper process and paper brick design,” said chemical engineering student Stanley Wong. “However, we did not let what we had accomplished in person together go to waste. A lot of our process is based off the results we were able to obtain from prototyping.”

Becoming Better Engineers

The team that devised a method to monitor the air and water quality for two controlled environments in the UA’s Biosphere 2 won the Perseverance and Recovery Award and the Mensch Foundation Award for Best Use of Embedded Intelligence.

“The biggest lesson I’ve taken away from this is how much can be accomplished when you have a good team, and that, where there’s a will, there’s a way,” said biosystems engineering team member Gabriel Prado.

Baygents noted that this year, all teams were prime examples of perseverance and recovery.

“One of the things that distinguishes an engineer from those in other disciplines is that we’re really supposed to use and apply what we know,” he said in closing statements. “In executing your projects, you’ve demonstrated that you’ve reached that milestone. It’s not just that you know a lot. It’s that you can do a lot. And that’s something that will earn you a lot of respect.”

Design Day 2020 Awards and Winners

Craig M. Berge Dean’s Award for Most Outstanding Project – $7,500
Team 19106: Distal Tibia Osteotomy Guide

Team members: Dirk Bernhardt, Kareen Alexandra Fajardo Cortes, Joshua Andrew McLean, Andrew Alango Okonya, Melissa Requist
Sponsor: Paragon 28
College mentor: David Gilblom

 

Raytheon Missile Systems Award for Best Overall Design – $5,000
Team 19024: Capacitive Volume Sensing

Team members: Chandler W. Gillette, Alana Gabrielle Gonzales, Lindsay Nicole Pruitt, James Rowley, Paul Michael Udorvich, Christine Elisabeth Wiltbank
Sponsor: Roche Tissue Diagnostics
College mentor: Mark Brazier

 

Ball Aerospace Award for Best System Software Design – $2,500
Team 19033: Custom Python API Generator for Controlling Existing User Interfaces

Team members: Samuel Eric Badger, Ramos Jiuru Chen, Philippe Cutillas, Sean Farris, Andrew Mugambi Kirima, Nikhith Reddy Vankireddy
Sponsor: Façade Technologies Inc.
College mentor: Cathy Merrill

 

ACSS, an L3 Harris and Thales Joint Venture Award for Most Robust Systems Engineering – $2,000
Team 19033: Custom Python API Generator for Controlling Existing User Interfaces

Team members: Samuel Eric Badger, Ramos Jiuru Chen, Philippe Cutillas, Sean Farris, Andrew Mugambi Kirima, Nikhith Reddy Vankireddy
Sponsor: Façade Technologies Inc.
College mentor: Cathy Merrill

 

RBC Sargent Aerospace & Defense Voltaire Design Award – $2,000
Team 19098: Bicycle Handlebar Mounted Automobile Proximity Sensing, Warning and Reporting Device

Team members: Tyler Mills, Gavin Scott Mitchell, Ricardo Padilla Vera, Rachel Sinclair, Bridget Slomka, Daniel Christian Taylor
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Biomedical Engineering
College mentor: Bob Messenger

 

II-VI Optical Systems Best Optical Systems Design – $1,500
Team 19053: Laser Communication Boresight System

Team members: Cameron Ard, Catherine Marie Brennan, Ryan Joseph Iuliano, Bryan Christopher Kendall, George A. Smith
Sponsor: GEOST
College mentor: Doug May

 

The Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use (First Prize) – $1,500
Team 19001: Mobile Utility Connection

Team members: Kevin Minh Chau, Spencer Lyon-Gross, Ilse Yukie Morales Duarte, Colter Ogden, Abhishek Sharma, Jesus Alejandro Suarez
Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power
College mentor: Steve Larimore

 

The Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use (Second Prize) – $500
Team 19139: Cellphone Powered by a Microbial Fuel Cell

Team members: Kenneth Michael Castella, Mckenzie Lynn Fowler, Michael Keva Landon, Chelsie Shalei Pribonic, Lyra Star Troy
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering
College mentor: Adrianna Brush

 

Rincon Research Award for Best Presentation – $1,500
Team 19024: Capacitive Volume Sensing

Team members: Chandler W. Gillette, Alana Gabrielle Gonzales, Lindsay Nicole Pruitt, James Rowley, Paul Michael Udorvich, Christine Elisabeth Wiltbank
Sponsor: Roche Tissue Diagnostics
College mentor: Mark Brazier

 

Roche Tissue Diagnostics Award for Most Innovative Engineering Design – $1,500
Team 19075: Non-Destructive Field Robotic Biomass 3D Scanner

Team members: Mohammed Hassan Alabdrabalnabi, Sabrina Bachelier, Daniel Le Gin, Ian Ulanday, Alanna Zubler
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Biosystems Engineering
College mentor: Mike Nofziger

 

Cliff Andressen Award for Design Above and Beyond – $1,500
Team 19074: Secure Video Transmission Over Cellular Network for Unmanned Aircraft

Team members: Mitchell James Dzurick, Jerad Nicholas Kaskawal, Ajay Singh Katoch, Benjamin Leigh Ribble, Jesus Alfonso Robles, Lena Chloe Voytek
Sponsor: General Dynamics
College mentor: Claude Merrill

 

W.L. Gore and Associates Award for Lifelong Innovation – $1,500
Team 19063: Epileptic Seizure Detection and Notification System

Team members: Louis Joseph Bertani, Gordon Downs, Juan Manuel Gastelum, K. Humberto Lopez Felix, Alejandro Enrique Ortega, Oanh Tran
Sponsor: Intel
College mentor: Cathy Merrill

 

Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona Award for Best Design Documentation – $1,000
Team 19028: Slide Randomizer

Team members: Sierra Bracamonte, Jake William Lee, Elizabeth Seader, Kazune Yahata, Sierra Carmel Yavari, Brittany Villegas (Pima Community College student)
Sponsor: Roche Tissue Diagnostics
Team mentor: Steve Larimore

 

TRAX International Award for Best Implementation of Agile Methodology – $1,000
Team 19086: Visual Natural Language Processing of Medical Images

Team members: Andrew Fargalla, Zahra’a A Sadeq, Steven Paul Santaniello, Frankangel Servin, Drake Avatar Sitaraman
Sponsor: University of Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation
College mentor: Don McDonald

 

Honeywell Aerospace Award for Excellence in Aerospace Electronic System Design – $1,000
Team 19037: Test Fixture for LCD Light Guide Plate

Team members: Christopher (CJ) Espiritu, Noah Hamstra, Andrew (AJ) Purvis, Zachary Thomas Rovig, Colton Lee Stoltz
Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace
College mentor: Mike Nofziger

 

Honeywell Aerospace Award for Excellence in Aerospace Mechanical System Design – $1,000
Team 19120: X-56 Scaled Composite Research Test Bed

Team members: Joseph Michael Davy, Joseph Lernor, Kyle William McHugh, Ezekiel Sisay, Xiuwen Yin
Sponsor: Air Force Office of Scientific Research
College mentor: Hermann Fasel

 

Sharon ONeal Cyber Warrior Award for Best Cybersecurity Design – $1,000
Team 19023: Personalized Lab Notifications

Team members: Rigel Sterling Carlson, Jake Hageman, Miranda Nicole Hampton, Connor Musick, Kris Rockowitz, Jessica Noelle Sofka
Sponsor: Roche Tissue Diagnostics
College mentor: Cathy Merrill

 

Mensch Foundation Award for Best Use of Embedded Intelligence – $1,000
Team 19094: Biosphere 2 Controlled System Monitors

Team members: Abdullah Al-Battashi, Lia Crocker, Edgar U Gomez, Clayton Edward Matheson, Gabriel Elias Prado, Tru Thanh Quach
Sponsor: Biosphere 2
College mentor: Heather Hilzendeger

 

Delta Development Team Award for Sustainable Manufacturing Innovation – $1,000
Team 19126: Recycled Waste Plastics as Building Material for Low-Cost Shelters

Team members: Nicholas Christopher Curradi, Madison Kate Matson, Kara Alexandra Walton, Stanley Wong
Sponsor: Infinite Options
College mentor: Adrianna Brush

 

Mark Brazier Award for Best Biomedical System Design – $1,000
Team 19052: Precision Brachytherapy Device for Esophageal Cancer

Team members: Audrey Tamra Cohen, Danielle Gelb, Jacob Mapp, Avertano Hiram Olivas, Diana Vargas, Ryan Stephen Zenhausern
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Biomedical Engineering
College mentor: Pat Caldwell

 

Garmin Award for Best Use of Wireless Technology – $1,000
Team 19073: Opportunistic Radio Signal Positioning and Navigation

Team members: David Chan, Diana Michelle Garland, Ian Marcus Hooks, Ricardo Franco Ross, Naomi Marcella Yescas
Sponsor: General Dynamics Mission Systems
College mentor: Claude Merrill

 

II-VI Optical Systems Fish Out of Water Award – $750
Team 19035: Heated Build Plate for Additive Manufacturing System

Team members: Francisco Yerena (winner), Luis Fernando Arciniaga, Edward Ian Buster, Marcus Scott, Pieter van Drielen
Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace
College mentor: Gregory E. Ogden

 

SciTech Institute Award for Best Engineering Analysis – $750
Team 19004: Simultaneous Discrete Beam Steering for Multi-Wavelength Coherent Sources

Team members: Camden Alexander Frisby, Kali Gagne, Weishi Guo, Ryan Knox, James Edgar Sharp
Sponsor: Nightforce Optics Inc.
College mentor: Mike Nofziger

 

Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Award for Best Use of Prototyping – $750
Team 19049: Grasshopper Harvester

Team members: Angelica Calanog, Lianne Evans, Javier Alejandro Frausto, Daniel Shannon, Yukai Xie, Tianqi Yang, Jacob Nathanial Zall
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Entomology
College mentor: Claude Merrill

 

Steve Larimore Award for Perseverance and Recovery – $750
Team 19094: Controlled Systems Monitors

Team members: Abdullah Al-Battashi, Lia Crocker, Edgar U. Gomez, Clayton Edward Matheson, Gabrial Elias Prado, Tru Thanh Quach
Sponsor: Biosphere 2
College mentor: Heather Hilzendeger

 

Southwest Gas Practical Solution/Application Award – $750
Team 19050: Medical Device Fluid Management Connecting System

Team members: Masaomi Enami, Cassandra Kimble, Kate Santos Midel, Mihir M. Patel, Cullen Alexander Walsh, Stratton Andrew Yatron
Sponsor: Xeridiem Medical Devices, a part of Spectrum Plastics Group
College mentor: Steve Larimore

 

Dataforth Corporation Best Design Using a Data Acquisition and Control System Award – $500
Team 19055: Optimized Brewery Chilling System

Team members: Raegan Rose Arnold, Julian Ezekiel Garayzar, David Enrique Gonzalez, Collin Joseph Greene, Madison Lomax, Vincent Xu
Sponsor: Barrio Brewing
College mentor: Gregory E. Ogden

 

L3 Harris Latitude Engineering Award for Best Physical Implementation of Analytically Driven Design – $500
Team 19052: Precision Brachytherapy Device for Esophageal Cancer

Team members: Audrey Tamra Cohen, Danielle Gelb, Jacob Mapp, Avertano Hiram Olivas, Diana Vargas, Ryan Stephen Zenhausern
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Biomedical Engineering
College mentor: Pat Caldwell

 

Prototron Circuits Award for Best Printed Circuit Design – $500
Team 19103: Automated Collection of Pre-Clinical Behavioral Data

Team members: Kerri Bjornholm, Bailey Buchanan, Jared Gillett Dolby, Alexander Osborn, Haylee Thompson
College mentor: Gary Redford
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Biomedical Engineering

 

Simpson Family Award for Best Simulation and Modeling – $500
Team 19085: Virtual Reality System for Treating Eating Disorders

Team members: Karm Jamil Al Hajhog, Curt John Bautista Bansil, Steven Long Dinh, Zaynah Arzie Kmeid, Nancy Pham, Alexander Felipe Reyes
Sponsor: University of Arizona Center for Accelerated Biomedical Innovation
College mentor: Heather Hilzendeger

 

Frank Broyles Award for Engineering Ethics – $500
Team 19001: Mobile Utility Connection

Team members: Kevin Minh Chau, Spencer Lyon-Gross, Ilse Yukie Morales Duarte, Colter Ogden, Abhishek Sharma, Jesus Alejandro Suarez
Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power
College mentor: Steve Larimore

 

Frank Broyles Award for Unmanned Aircraft Safety – $500
Team 19119: Mars Sailplane

Team members: Mohammed Zack Abdul Kader, James Allen Markland, Joseph Arthur Meadows, Bailey Mclean Nichols, Trevor Andrew Swafford, Patrick Leopold Whitten
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering
College mentor: Sergey Shkarayev

 

Honeywell Aerospace Award for Team Leadership (First Prize) – $250
Team 19097: Hydraulic Mining Shovels Slew Ring Flatness Measurement System

Team members: Alex James Dmitroff (winner), Mohammad Alotaibi, Erick Octavio Lizarraga, Richard Marc Romo, Anthony Sergio Salazar, Anagh Vaidya, Craig Wadlington (Pima Community College student)
Sponsor: Caterpillar Inc.
College mentor: Mark Brazier

 

Honeywell Aerospace Award for Team Leadership (Second Prize) – $250
Team 19098: Bicycle Handlebar Mounted Automobile Proximity Sensing, Warning and Reporting Device

Team members: Rachel Sinclair (winner), Tyler Mills, Gavin Scott Mitchell, Ricardo Padilla Vera, Bridget Slomka, Daniel Christian Taylor
Sponsor: University of Arizona Department of Biomedical Engineering
College mentor: Bob Messenger