Author Archives: ECAdmin

Design Day is the culmination of the college’s Engineering Design Program, in which teams of five or six students spend an entire academic year taking sponsors’ projects from concept to reality.

This year sponsor Hermelinda Bristol recruited UA students, including biomedical engineering major Jason Keatseangsilp, to build an unpowered exoskeleton for her son Jeffrey, a UA junior in accounting with cerebral palsy.

Engineering affects virtually every aspect of our lives, and at the University of Arizona’s Engineering Design Day on May 1, more than 500 students intend to prove it.

The public is invited to see the displays in the Student Union Memorial Center Grand Ballroom and on the UA Mall from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., and to attend the awards ceremony in the ballroom from 4 to 5:30 p.m., when industry sponsors will present more than $25,000 in cash prizes to project teams.

Laura Haferkamp of Team 16022 shows how Team 16022's custom-designed and machined clamps will interface with the Unbreakable Fiber Optic cable.

Project Title: Bifurcated Fiber Optic Cable System for Orion Spacecraft Heat Shield Spectrometer

Team 16022 Members:
David Greif, mechanical engineering
Laura Haferkamp, materials science and engineering
Giuseppe Lo Voi, electrical and computer engineering
Kyel Powell, systems engineering
Andrew Rocha, optical sciences and engineering (team lead)

Sponsor: NASA

Unbreakable Fiber Optic to Test Orion Reentry Capabilities

Team 16022 members with the 6-meter fiber optic cable that they'll use for building the UFO system.Team 16022 is working on a UFO for NASA – an Unbreakable Fiber Optic, that is. The custom fiber optic cable assembly is intended for the upcoming NASA Exploration Mission 1 to test Orion spacecraft reentry capabilities.

The UFO system will be attached to Orion’s heat shield to propagate spectral data through a sapphire rod for spectrometer analysis on the ground. The data will provide information about the chemistry of ionized gases and ablated heat shield material.

American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Recognition

Team UFO has already gained renown beyond the UA campus. Team lead Andrew Rocha joined with Laura Haferkamp and Giuseppe Lo Voi for a second place-winning presentation in March at the AIAA Region VI Student Paper Conference at San Jose State University. The paper, which was co-authored by all five team members, earned a $300 prize.

The trio’s visit to San Jose included meeting astronaut Dan Bursch, a veteran of three space shuttle flights and service on the International Space Station, and visits to NASA’s Ames Research Center and the Intel Museum.

This is the first group to be invited to present a paper during the school year, said Doug May, the team’s Engineering Design Program mentor.

Testing and Construction

Laura Haferkamp shows how Team 16022's custom-designed and machined clamps will interface with the Unbreakable Fiber Optic cable.The prototype, which will be on display May 1 during Design Day 2017, consists of a bifurcated, space-rated and verified broadband transmission optical fiber that uses two loose outer jackets. The cable is supported by student-designed aluminum clamps lined with silicone foam. Each of two cable legs terminate in spectrometer ports.

Vibration and shock testing is being performed at Orbital ATK in Chandler, and heat, humidity and pressure testing at the UA’s Arizona Materials Laboratory.

NASA, which is designing and building its own system, expects to have a final version of the alternate designs installed in Orion’s mid-bay area, between the crew cabin and the thermal protection area.

Project Title: Robotic Data Center

MicrosoftTeam 16035 Members:
Abdulrahman Alrashidi, industrial engineering
Daniel Bird, mechanical engineering
Jeni Dye, electrical and computer engineering
Dako Lesman, systems engineering
Marco Tipitto, mechanical engineering (team lead)

Sponsor: Microsoft

Design Program Experience Mixture of Internship, Job Interview

With a tool to justify the adoption of robotics and hardware automation, members of Team 16035 are helping make modern data centers truly modern while nailing down career options.

Modern data centers are massive complexes of multiple buildings containing hundreds of thousands of servers. A rack of 40 servers weighs in at 4,000 pounds. Each server includes a motherboard, power supplies and many hard drives, all of which require energy, cooling, monitoring, maintenance and repair.

Safety is difficult to ensure in a building generating 40 megawatts of heat and distributing 40 megawatts of electric power, where hundreds of disk drives fail each day and must be transported to shredders. Security is hard to guarantee in centers where each employee is surrounded by petabytes of customer data. And, in a business where accuracy is paramount yet focusing on the correct rack, server, disk drive or fiber optic cable can be mentally challenging, it’s easy to get the details wrong.

It’s no wonder the industry is under pressure to improve safety, security and accuracy while increasing cloud computing and data transmission speeds, advancements that typically call for robotics and hardware automation. But data centers have been slow to adopt these technologies.

Team 16035 is using Microsoft’s Power BI software to create a decision tool for incorporating robotics into data centers. The model compares cost and performance of various configurations to help Microsoft plan data centers with features such as robotic maintenance.

Users input requirements such as size and location, and the tool outputs optimal design specifications, projected costs and a 3-D SolidWorks representation of the data center. The model performs its calculations by retrieving official data from the internet and combining it with input and previously saved data.

With Design Day 2017 only weeks away, Team 16035 is putting finishing touches on the data center planning model, like adding a module that incorporates all 41,719 U.S. ZIP codes to use for obtaining climate information.

The quintet has had extensive contact with Microsoft, including a winter-break visit to company headquarters in Redmond, Washington, and a road trip to Quincy with collaborating employees during a six-hour snowstorm. The small town in central Washington is home to data centers operated by Microsoft, Intuit, Dell, Yahoo! and other tech giants, all drawn by abundant, low-cost renewable power and a high concentration of installed fiber optic.

“They’re really challenging us,” said team member Dako Lesman, adding that the project feels like “a combination job interview and internship.” Lesman and two teammates have Microsoft on their short lists of future employers.

You spoke, and we listened – and we want to hear more! The new app for UA Engineering Design Day 2017 is going social.

Our teams have been working hard all year on a diverse array of interdisciplinary projects, including technology to detect and disable drones, a lift system to help haul loads in hillside towns, and a tag device that local 911 networks can use to connect to in-home cardiac defibrillators during emergencies.

Get the app, and get access to these and more than 100 other Design Day projects, student profiles and award descriptions.

New this year: Share your activity with friends on social media channels like Twitter, directly from the app!

Download the free UA College of Engineering mobile app, available in the App Store for Apple’s iOS devices and the Google Play Store for Android devices.

App Store

For iOS devices, like iPhone and iPad

Google Play

For Android devices, like Samsung Galaxy

Project Title: Smart Work Environment and Application of Augmented Reality Overlay for Manufacturing

RaytheonTeam 16011 Members:
Alexandra Kay Beresford, engineering management (team lead)
Nicole Chellman, industrial engineering
Jonah Matanky, mechanical engineering
Bryce Roybal, engineering management
Seth Werly, electrical and computer engineering
Nicholas Yonke, biomedical engineering (with mechanical engineering minor)

Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

Prototype in the Vanguard of Smart Factories

Team 16011 meets in the UA Science and Engineering Library. From left to right, Bryce Roybal, Seth Werly, Nicholas Yonke, Alexandra Beresford, and Nicole Chellman.With its augmented reality model, Team 16011 is plotting a movement – the fourth industrial revolution, or Industry 4.0, to be precise.

The first Industrial Revolution took off with steam power to mechanize work done by humans, animals, and natural forces like wind and moving water. Then came the second, with electricity, assembly lines and mass production. The third saw widespread use of computers and robots beginning to replace assembly line workers. Next up: Industry 4.0 for smart factories, centered on automation and data exchange.

In smart factories, explained team member Nicole Chellman, computers and sensors are integrated with production equipment for communicating remotely, sharing real-time data and making adjustments on the fly.

“Everything communicates with each other,” she said.

Team 16011 is investigating ways to increase manufacturing efficiency using Microsoft HoloLens augmented reality. The students’ augmented reality model, with hologram-like images, allows factory workers and engineers to view guided instructions for assembling and manufacturing small satellites.

“Augmented reality works with virtual components in the real world,” noted team member Seth Werly.

The team also produced a trade study that analyzes certain factors of smart factory technology, including equipment cost and training time.

For their Critical Design Review, students created an animated 3-D model that shows workers how to assemble a 10-by-10-by-10-centimeter weather satellite, or CubeSat.

An animated demo is much easier to understand than written instructions and flat diagrams, said teammate Bryce Roybal.

In the final demonstration during Design Day 2017 on May 1, students wearing HoloLenses will fill the roles of machine operator and engineer reviewing real-time data to identify and fix deficiencies in manufacturing processes.

Project Title: Anti-Drone Device

RaytheonTeam 16003 Members:
Jessica Bingxin Cheung, electrical and computer engineering (team lead)
Sydney Clark, electrical and computer engineering
Ivan Cordoba, electrical and computer engineering
Evan Deforest, mechanical engineering
Justin Larimore, biomedical engineering
Shivani Patel, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

Students Take System from Computer Simulation to Reality

We're showing mercy – for now. Team 15003 lead Jessica Cheung holds one of the testing drones while her teammates discuss how they plan to destroy it. From left to right: Evan Deforest, Justin Larimore, Sydney Clark, Cheung, Shivani Patel, and Ivan Cordoba.The Federal Aviation Administration has documented hundreds of close calls between drones and aircraft. Drone swarms are not only dangerous to commercial, rescue and firefighting aviation but they are also a threat to national defense.

Team Dead Drone, sponsored by Raytheon Missile Systems, is designing and assembling a scaled-down anti-drone system, built entirely with off-the-shelf products. The system is expected to detect, track, and electronically or mechanically disable a pair of drones simultaneously.

“We have to show our sponsor that we’re doing the right thing, on their schedule,” said team lead Jessica Bingxin Cheung.

Because Raytheon is particularly interested in the threats commercial drones pose to naval vessels, specs also call for a system that can withstand extreme maritime environments.

The team started with a computerized version of the system that required a user to enter code to disable a simulated drone, something that will be automated in the final project.

The system consists of a microcomputer, LCD screen, Wi-Fi antenna, and a protective case to guard against rain, wind and humidity. Once a drone is detected, the device automatically connects to the drone’s Wi-Fi access point and sends commands via Telnet, an internet protocol for remote communication, to shut it down.

Now that students have experienced success on the computer – and at the Critical Design Review – Team Dead Drone is focused on writing documentation and creating the finished product, which they will demonstrate on the UA Mall at Design Day 2017 on May 1!

Engineering Design Team 16075

Project Title: Bisbee Assisted-Lift Delivery System

Team 16075 Members:
Roberto Cordoba Berigan, electrical and computer engineering
Jakob Davis, mechanical engineering
Aaron Hausman, systems and industrial engineering (team lead)
Wesley Lee, mechanical engineering
Scott Payne, systems and mechanical engineering
Martin Wong, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: City of Bisbee

Residents of Old Mining Town Get a Lift

Engineering Design Team 16075In Bisbee, an Arizona town known as the Queen of Copper Camps and
famous for its 2 miles of municipal stairways, something as mundane as bringing home the groceries can be quite an ordeal.

The Cochise County seat, population 5,575, sits in a valley surrounded by hills, and many of the town’s hillside houses are accessible only by steep stairs.

Imagine an elderly person carrying packages in one hand, grasping a stairway railing with the other and laboring under the effects of mile-high altitude to get groceries or pet food home.

“Between 65 and 75, life changes a lot,” said Bisbee public works director Andy Haratyk, adding that he has heard many stories of elders taking three days to bring in all the groceries from just one shopping trip.

With the help of Engineering Design Team 16075, Haratyk and other city officials are doing something about it.

The team started construction in February 2017 on the Bisbee Assisted-Lift Delivery System. The conveyor that students are building in B Mountain’s 45-home, 30-percent-grade neighborhood is the start of a citywide system.

With inexpensive off-the-shelf parts, the team is creating an assistance device capable of transporting at least 100 pounds of groceries, firewood, trash and recyclables per trip. Residents will use a call button to summon a transport container that travels along a gear-, belt- or chain-powered conveyor system beside the staircase.

In addition to providing real-world experience for soon-to-be UA graduates, the project is giving Bisbee High School students a chance to work alongside team members and apply civil, electrical, industrial and mechanical engineering principles.

“Just because you’re from Bisbee doesn’t mean you have to think small,” Haratyk said of the teens’ experience, and the conveyor system.