Category Archives: Blog

Project Title: Toilet Leak and Flood Prevention

QuakeWrap Inc. logoTeam 15043 Members:
Matthew Britton, systems engineering
Ian Carmichael, electrical and computer engineering
Eliza Dawson, mechanical engineering
Diego Morales, mechanical engineering
Derek Strickland, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: QuakeWrap Inc.

Intellectual curiosity motivates UA emeritus professor

Mo EhsaniThe reasons companies sponsor senior design teams are as varied as the projects themselves. Topping the list are exploring new technologies, reviving back-burner projects, benefiting from UA campus facilities and faculty expertise, and auditioning future employees.

For Mo Ehsani, PhD, PE, and his brother-in-law, Masoud Ghalambor, MD, sponsorship of a 2016 project was a personal thing. And it exemplified the essence of engineering: identifying a common problem and designing a simple solution that works.

Ehsani, a UA professor emeritus of civil engineering, is the founder and president of Tucson-based QuakeWrap. The company develops, manufactures and installs fiber-reinforced polymer products to repair and strengthen buildings and pipelines. Ghalambor is an orthopedic surgeon in Sacramento, California, who also holds BS and MS degrees in mechanical engineering.

But the QuakeWrap-sponsored project didn’t come close to structural repair – or surgery. It was all about a simple, low-cost way to prevent toilet leaks and possible floods.

“We both had experienced large water bills due to leaky toilets and wanted to find a solution to eliminate water waste,” said Ehsani.

So the student team developed a battery-powered automatic shutoff that limits loss to one tankful of water if the water runs for longer than expected, indicating there is a leak.

While the Toilet Leak and Flood Prevention project does not signal QuakeWrap’s entry into the household plumbing fixtures market, the team’s work is protected by a provisional patent application, and Ehsani may pursue the product as a commercial venture outside of QuakeWrap.

“People tell me that they wish they had something like this,” he said.

Andrew Werchan shows the Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System sensor tip and digital readout monitor showing incorrect insertion.

Project Title: Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System

Xeridiem logoTeam 15024 Members:
Christopher Gallo, biomedical engineering
Summer Garland, biomedical engineering
Nathaniel Husband, biomedical engineering
Gary Tyree, biomedical engineering
Hang Van, systems engineering
Andrew Werchan, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: Xeridiem

Students create cost-effective, easy-to-use medical device

Andrew Werchan shows the Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System sensor tip and digital readout monitor showing correct insertionHospital patients recovering from illness or surgery who cannot feed themselves rely on nasogastric, or feeding, tubes. Traditionally, inserting a feeding tube has been a lot like flying blind. The tube can end up in the lungs instead of the stomach, sometimes resulting in serious injury – or death.

Hospitals can verify correct tube placement via a chest X-ray or a stomach pH test, but these test are costly.

Team 15024 has come to the rescue with a working prototype of a cost-effective, easy-to-use device that gives instant feedback on placement.

A sensor, responsive to an open circuit that is closed by stomach acid ions, threads inside the feeding tube and is connected to a digital readout display box.

When the circuit closes, the digital display box chirps and shows the message, “Placement good! Tube safe to use.” When the tube is threaded into the lungs, the circuit stays open. No chirping display box, nothing but silence. The readout says, “Warning! Not safe to use!”

Getting to the finish line wasn’t easy for the team, but their perseverance paid off.

Christopher Gallo said team members came up empty in the hunt for inexpensive – $10 to $20 – sensors, so they added sensor fabrication to their resumes.

In fact, developing the successful prototype took 36 tries, but the team wasn’t fazed.

“That’s research!” said Summer Garland.

The team’s solution to a tough patient care problem earned two first-prize awards at UA Engineering’s 2016 Design Day – $1,000 for Best Presentation and $1,000 for Innovation in Engineering. The awards were funded by Rincon Research Corp. and Ventana Medical Systems, respectively.

The team was also invited to present their work at the 2016 Capstone Design Conference in Columbus, Ohio, in early June, joining engineering capstone teams from across the nation.

The project has led to three provisional patent applications, and Tucson-based sponsor Xeridiem, a contract medical device manager, may file for full patent protection. The company also plans to bring the project back during the 2016-2017 Engineering Design Program for further refinements.

As for members of Team 15024, their plans include finishing UA undergraduate work, starting graduate school and medical school, and beginning jobs as engineers.

Team 15040 with Best Overall Design check

Project Title: On-Slide Reagent Concentration Feedback and Control

Ventana Medical Systems Inc. logoTeam 15040 Members:
Collin Gilchrist, biomedical engineering
Jamie Hernandez, biomedical engineering
Shawn Iles, optical sciences and engineering
Pete Moya, biomedical engineering
Tyler Toth, biomedical engineering
Danton Whittier, systems engineering

Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

Noninvasive slide staining technique earns top Design Day prize

Team 15040 with Best Overall Design checkYou may have encountered the field of histopathology without ever realizing it. Simply put, histopathology is a microscopic examination of a tissue sample taken via surgery or biopsy.

Because the results can be a matter of life or death, accurate measurements are crucial. This extends to the fluid — known as ionic buffer solution — that binds to the sample. Its ionic concentration must remain constant. Variations can adversely affect the quality of the staining used to highlight abnormalities in tissue.

Team 15040’s senior design project provided test labs with a way to precisely measure the ionic concentration of the buffer solution on histopathological slides. Their work was recognized at Engineering Design Day 2016 with the highest honor, the $2,000 Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design.

The Raytheon Award goes to the team that most effectively meets judging criteria, devises a well-thought-out solution that has been rigorously tested, and offers a professional and easy-to-understand poster and presentation.

The project’s sponsor, Ventana Medical Systems Inc., is a Tucson-based manufacturer of medical diagnostic systems and biopsy-based cancer tests. Ventana is a member of the Roche Group, a global health care company with headquarters in Basel, Switzerland.

The company has sponsored at least two senior design teams each year since 2011; this year it sponsored four.

“They’re high-risk, high-reward projects,” said on-campus mentor Greg Ogden. “They challenge the students to try far-off things and see if they work.”

Ogden, a research associate professor of chemical engineering at the University of Arizona who just finished his sixth year as an Engineering Design Program mentor, praised Team 15040 for rising to Ventana’s expectations.

All of the team’s work had to be at the highest level, including behind-the-scenes aspects like team meeting agendas, minutes, and after-meeting action items and follow-throughs.

“We treated them like employees,” said Lisa Jones, a development systems integration manager with Ventana who served as the team’s sponsor-mentor and adviser.

Ogden cited the team’s deft handling of a fall-semester challenge as a game-changer that helped them prevail. One of their early design concepts, using a refractometer, was not considered viable by Ventana.

We’ll prove that it is, replied the team. And they did, with preliminary research findings that sold the company on their idea.

The final product includes a laser that refracts light into the solution; the aforementioned refractometer, which provides real-time measurements of the solution’s ionic concentration; and a graphical user interface for data display. Jones praised the touch-screen interface for its ease of use, especially for busy lab staff, who “don’t have time to bugger around with equipment.”

Perhaps most critical, the technique enables lab staff to conduct the entire measuring and reporting process without touching the sample — thereby avoiding risk of contamination. It satisfies Ventana’s requirement for a noninvasive system. The company has filed for provisional patent protection.

The combination of lofty standards and challenging projects led to success for Ventana’s 2016 Design Day teams. “Three of our four teams won,” Jones says.

Inside the shipping container greenhouse at Design Day 2016

The University of Arizona’s 14th annual Engineering Design Day challenged about 500 students with almost 100 original projects. Some teams’ designs helped launch startups; others enriched the offerings of their sponsoring companies.

Along the way, students learned to work in multidisciplinary teams and solve a wide array of problems — from playing catchup after a late project start to dealing with power lines blocking a project’s route to campus.

Here’s how four design teams met the challenge.

Nailing a Moving Target

Boeing logoProject Title: Stabilized Helicopter Landing Platform

Team 15019 Members:
Nicholas Hand, systems engineering
Benjamin Kaufman, mechanical engineering
Jeremy Loo, mechanical engineering
Christopher McEvoy, mechanical engineering
Ray Weaver, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: Boeing

Team 15019 at Design Day 2016Take five civilian undergraduates from systems, mechanical, and electrical and computer engineering, aim their expertise at one of the toughest problems in military aviation, and what do you get? A working prototype of a shipboard helicopter landing platform that remains stable in stormy seas.

A video shown at Team 15019’s Design Day booth vividly illustrated the problem. A ship pitched and rolled as a helicopter hovered above the landing platform. Despite several attempts, the pilot could not land.

The team’s “stable table” could be part of the solution, and Boeing will use it to demonstrate the complexities of landing helicopters on ships at sea.

During Design Day, Jeremy Loo and his teammates took turns tilting the platform as the stabilizing mechanism kept the model helicopter horizontal, providing visual proof that their prototype met Boeing’s system requirements.

Cleaning Up Breweries

UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering logoProject Title: Sustainable Microbrewery

Team 15075 Members:
Jacqueline Barrow, chemical engineering
Ryan Dormond, chemical engineering
Christopher Hawkins, chemical engineering
Sheng-Shuan Yeh, chemical engineering

Sponsor: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Team 15075 at Design Day 2016Design Day gave Team 15075 plenty of opportunities to say no with a smile.

The question: Do you have samples? (Sorry to disappoint, but it’s a dry event.)

The team of chemical engineering students took on a problem near and dear to environmentally conscious beer drinkers: how to reduce the waste stream leaving the brewery.

They designed a microbrewery that lowers biological oxygen demand. That’s the amount of oxygen microorganisms need to break down soluble organic material before it reaches a municipal wastewater system.

It worked, said team member Ryan Dormond, but it wouldn’t be profitable for a small startup.

“Big brewers could do it incrementally, over time,” he explained.

What functions from an engineering standpoint, the team learned, is not always practical in the business world.

Delivering Fresh Vegetables to Food Deserts

UA Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering logoProject Title: Shipping Container Greenhouse

  • Team 15090: Controlled Environment for Plant Reproduction
  • Team 15091: Irrigation Infrastructure
  • Team 15092: Controlled Environment for Mushroom Production

Team 15090 Members:
Maya Aldaghi, biosystems engineering
Riley Anderson, biosystems engineering
Brooke Christine Conrardy, biosystems engineering
Michael Lopez, biosystems engineering
Haley Odom, biosystems engineering
Michael Pearse, biosystems engineering

Team 15091 Members:
Nicole Xuan Bui, biosystems engineering
Patrick William Bush, biosystems engineering
Brooke Christine Conrardy, biosystems engineering
Ashley C. Hanno, biosystems engineering
Victoria Alexandra Karlsson, biosystems engineering
Claire Kristin Tritz, biosystems engineering

Team 15092 Members:
Perla E. Ballesteros, biosystems engineering
Brooke Christine Conrardy, biosystems engineering
Qianwen Luo, biosystems engineering
Elan Snitkin, biosystems engineering

Sponsor: UA Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Inside the shipping container greenhouse at Design Day 2016Transporting most finished products to Design Day is easy. Just put it in a car and drive it to campus.

Not so for the trio of teams working on the shipping container greenhouse. They had to request a UA-owned tractor-trailer and driver, plan a route and get permits from the city of Tucson.

The initial plan hit a roadblock — the Sun Link Streetcar. Its power lines above Park Avenue hung too low. Time for Plan B: getting to campus via Campbell Avenue.

Everything went flawlessly until the final corner outside Old Main. The truck jumped the curb, came down hard, and “Our seedlings fell through the holes in the hydroponic rack,” said team leader Brooke Conrardy. The hard landing proved fatal to 50 percent of the greenhouse plants.

The shipping container greenhouse is the centerpiece of a multiyear UA project that will help eliminate food deserts, areas without access to affordable, nutritious food.

The greenhouse includes a student-designed and -constructed hydroponic rack and tray system for growing lettuce and a sealed mushroom-growing chamber kept at 90 percent humidity. The greenhouse project will continue during the 2016-2017 academic year and will eventually be donated to a nonprofit organization — like a food bank — to grow fresh vegetables for people in need.

Starting Late, Finishing Strong

UA Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering logoProject Title: Macadamia Nut Harvester

Team 15094 Members:
Kenneth Hickman, biosystems engineering
Bryce Kirkpatrick, biosystems engineering
Ryan Neighbor, biosystems engineering
Marko Obradov, biosystems engineering

Sponsor: UA Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering

Team 15094 at Design Day 2016It was all smiles in Team 15094’s corner of the UA Mall, where a robotic macadamia nut-harvesting vehicle cruised around picking up nuts — to the delight of visitors of all ages.

But it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the Hawaiian-shirted quartet of biosystems engineering students. The harvester prototype had a rocky start.

“We didn’t have a project for two months, and we didn’t start building until January,” recalled Bryce Kirkpatrick.

“Building” meant drawing on members’ in-depth electrical and mechanical expertise and fabricating the harvester from the ground up. No outsourcing for this team — they did all the work themselves.

The robotic harvester will replace at least three types of heavy machinery used on Kawainui Farm on Hawaii’s Big Island — helping the farm harvest nuts faster and eliminating the cost of harvesting by hand.

 

For more information about the projects at Engineering Design Day 2016, please see the recap in Arizona Engineer.

Engineering Design Day 2016 judges standing on the stairs by the Student Union, waving to the camera

Engineering Design Day 2016 judges standing on the stairs by the Student Union, waving to the cameraThe University of Arizona Engineering Design Program extends its heartfelt gratitude to all the judges who joined us for Engineering Design Day 2016 on May 3.

We had representatives from companies from A(CSS) to X(eridiem), as well as several academic units, lending an impressive array of engineering expertise. Your enthusiasm helped make our big day an incredible success.

By the numbers:

  • 134 judges
  • 69 organizations
  • 99 projects
  • 499 students
  • 24 awards
  • $18,000 in prizes

See the full list of award-winning projects.

Again, our faculty, staff and students appreciate all your help.

Team 15040

Through the generosity of our corporate sponsors, the College of Engineering was able to bestow 22 awards – and $18,000 in prize money – to our hard-working seniors on Engineering Design Day 2016.

Congratulations to the winners, and to all our seniors.

Team 15040Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design ($2,000)
On-Slide Reagent Concentration Feedback and Control
Team 15040 Members:
Collin Gilchrist, biomedical engineering
Jamie Hernandez, biomedical engineering
Shawn Iles, optical sciences and engineering
Pete Moya, biomedical engineering
Tyler Toth, biomedical engineering
Danton Whittier, systems engineering
Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

Team 15023Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use – First Prize ($1,500)
Energy-Harvesting Power Supply
Team 15023 Members:
Tareq A.A.M. Alsalem, systems engineering
Juan Carlos Castillo, electrical and computer engineering
Jared Christian Guglielmo, electrical and computer engineering
Michelle Victoria Gutierrez, mechanical engineering
Justin Javelosa, mechanical engineering
Project Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power

Team 15086Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use – Second Prize ($500)
Ethanol Plant Repurposing
Team 15086 Members:
Michael Bauman, chemical engineering
William Blair, chemical engineering
Joseph Gaul, chemical engineering
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering 

 

Team 15024Rincon Research Award for Best Presentation ($1,000)
Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System
Team 15024 Members:
Christopher Gallo, biomedical engineering
Summer Garland, biomedical engineering
Nathaniel Husband, biomedical engineering
Gary Tyree, biomedical engineering
Hang Van, systems engineering
Andrew Werchan, electrical and computer engineering
Project Sponsor: Xeridiem

Team 15044Texas Instruments Analog Design Contest Award ($1,000)
Deep Water Sensor System
Team 15044 Members:
Matthew Ray Barragan, electrical and computer engineering
Austin Anthony Nawrocki, mechanical engineering
Nikitha Ramohalli, electrical and computer engineering
Alexander Yudkovitz, systems engineering
Yi Zhang, electrical and computer engineering
Project Sponsor: Texas Instruments
Project Spotlight: “Monitoring the Depths at Minimal Cost”

Team 15024Ventana Award for Innovation in Engineering ($1,000)
Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System
Team 15024 Members:
Christopher Gallo, biomedical engineering
Summer Garland, biomedical engineering
Nathaniel Husband, biomedical engineering
Gary Tyree, biomedical engineering
Hang Van, systems engineering
Andrew Werchan, electrical and computer engineering
Project Sponsor: Xeridiem

Team 15031ACSS/L-3 Communications Award for Most Robust Systems Engineering ($750)
Microfluidic-Based Human Lung Model
Team 15031 Members:
Elisa Calabrese, biomedical engineering
Kristin Calahan, biomedical engineering
Christopher Larkin, biomedical engineering
Emily Masterson, biomedical engineering
Mary McIntosh, biomedical engineering
Kristina Rivera, biomedical engineering
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

Team 15079Arizona Technology Council Foundation Award for Innovation in Manufacturing ($750)
Process Improvement to Minimize Fractures in Water-Soluble Mandrels
Team 15079 Members:
Matthew Bahr, chemical and environmental engineering
Phillip Befus, chemical and environmental engineering
Matthew Fry, chemical and environmental engineering
Juan Sandoval, chemical and environmental engineering
Project Sponsor: Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing 

 

Team 15039Edmund Optics Award for Perseverance and Recovery ($750)
High-Throughput Curing Oven
Team 15039 Members:
Allison Nicole Bronstein, systems engineering
Jesus Damian Chavolla, electrical and computer engineering
Yanjun Liu, mechanical engineering
Corina MacIsaac, biomedical engineering
Yaroslav Valerievich Pilipenko, biomedical engineering
April Proft, materials science and engineering
Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems

Team 15008W.L. Gore and Associates Award for Most Creative Solution ($750)
Sonar Module Integration for EMILY Rescue Robot
Team 15008 Members:
Jeremy Burris, systems engineering
Jordan McKinley Driggs, mechanical engineering
Uriel Garcia, electrical and computer engineering
Matthew Sybrant, systems engineering
Jessica Nell Vickers Toll, mechanical engineering
Project Sponsor: Hydronalix
Project Spotlight: “Underwater Eyes for Robotic Lifeguard”

Team 15026Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Award for Best Use of Prototyping ($750)
Robotic Knee Extension Simulator
Team 15026 Members:
Czarina Aguilar, biomedical engineering
Eze Ahanonu, biomedical engineering
Ian Hoffman, mechanical engineering
David Mendoza, electrical and computer engineering
Brian J. Nicodemus, systems engineering
Daniel Palomares, biomedical engineering
Zachary Remer, biomedical engineering
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

Team 15098Arizona Technology Council Foundation Award for Best Engineering Analysis ($750)
X-56A Aeroelastically Scaled Modular Aircraft for Research
Team 15098 Members:
John Casey, aerospace engineering
Dustin Leighty, aerospace engineering
John Meersman, aerospace engineering
Nicholas Merendo, aerospace engineering
Salvatore Antonio Vitale, aerospace engineering
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Team 15043RBC Sargent Aerospace & Defense Voltaire Design Award ($750)
Toilet Leak and Flood Prevention
Team 15043 Members:
Matthew Britton, systems engineering
Ian Carmichael, electrical and computer engineering
Eliza Dawson, mechanical engineering
Diego Morales, mechanical engineering
Derek Strickland, mechanical engineering
Project Sponsor: QuakeWrap Inc.
Project Spotlight: “Building a Better Toilet”

Team 15038Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona Best Design Documentation Award ($750)
Slide Handling and Retention Apparatus
Team 15038 Members:
Andrew D’Arcangelis, biomedical engineering
David Duperre, mechanical engineering
Erin Evangelist, systems engineering
Mykella Jones, biomedical engineering
David Malboeuf, mechanical engineering
Matthew Nadolny, electrical and computer engineering
Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

Team 15022TRAX International Award for Best Implementation of Agile Methodology ($750)
Entry-Level Crossbow Design
Team 15022 Members:
Joseph Dominic Lucero, mechanical engineering
Austin Jacob Masterson, mechanical engineering
Matthew David Modean, systems engineering
Ahmed Ismail Mustafawi, mechanical engineering
Kyle Vinh Nguyen, materials science and engineering
Project Sponsor: Precision Shooting Equipment

Team 15056Dataforth Corporation Award for Best Design Using a Data Acquisition and Control System ($500)
Performance Tools for Evaluating Microelectromechanical System Sensors
Team 15056 Members:
Gregory Burleson, systems engineering
Ariel Munoz, optical sciences and engineering
Trevor Woodhouse, biomedical engineering
Joshua Uhlorn, mechanical engineering
Project Sponsor: Universal Avionics 

 

Team 15059II-VI Optical Systems Award for Best Use of Optical Design and Technology ($500)
Liqua-Telecentric Autofocusing System
Team 15059 Members:
Yawei Ding, electrical and computer engineering
Olivia Fehlberg, optical sciences and engineering
Dana Kralicek, optical sciences and engineering
Timothy Ni, electrical and computer engineering
Edward Antonio Vergara, systems engineering
Project Sponsor: Edmund Optics

Team 15020Latitude Engineering Award for Best Physical Implementation of Analytically Driven Design ($500)
Inkjet-Printed Antennas for Wireless Communication
Team 15020 Members:
Santiago Burrola, systems engineering
Charles Hoskins, electrical and computer engineering
Yiming Shi, electrical and computer engineering
Joel Turnblade, mechanical engineering
Alisa Zukova, mechanical engineering
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Team 15018Prototron Circuits Award for Best Printed Circuit Design ($500)
Wearable Wireless Body Area Network
Team 15018 Members:
Nicolas Fajardo, electrical and computer engineering
Kevin Garrick, systems engineering
Xaviere Giroud, biomedical engineering
Brian Kehn, mechanical engineering
Andrew Thomas Maggio, biomedical engineering
Cecilia Maria Read, biomedical engineering
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Team 15051Honeywell Award for Excellence in Aerospace Electronic System Design ($400)
Thermomechanical Fatigue Testing System
Team 15051 Members:
Oscar Hernandez, materials science and engineering
Spencer Yushian Lee, electrical and computer engineering
Andy Luc, materials science and engineering
Bernt Rennie Powell, mechanical engineering
Kevin Bryan Scheeler, systems engineering
William David Sim, mechanical engineering
Project Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

Honeywell Team Leadership Award ($250 each)
Kaitlyn Elizabeth Williams (Team 15065, project sponsored by Raytheon Missile Systems; project spotlight: “Designing a Price-Conscious CubeSat”)
Justine Nichole Bacchus (Team 15030, project sponsored by Shamrock Foods; project spotlight: “Reusing Water on the Factory Floor”)

Team 15053Thorlabs Photonics Is the Future Award ($250 each)
Metal Surface Quality Characterization
Team 15053 Members:
Cole Lumsden, materials science and engineering
Steven Murrell, electrical and computer engineering
Mohammad Rabata, systems engineering
Maryam Tanbal, optical sciences and engineering
Jacob Tevik, optical sciences and engineering
Jinghao Zho, electrical and computer engineering
Project Sponsor: Procter & Gamble

Kristy Pearson Fish Out of Water Award – First Prize ($250)
Brennen Guy (Team 15030, project sponsored by Shamrock Foods; project spotlight: “Reusing Water on the Factory Floor”)

Kristy Pearson Fish Out of Water Award – Second Prize ($150)
Steven Wirth (Team 15065, project sponsored by Raytheon Missile Systems; project spotlight: “Designing a Price-Conscious CubeSat”)

Team 15065

Project Title: Commercial-off-the-Shelf Infrastructure for a 1U CubeSat

Raytheon logoTeam 15065 Members:
Benjamin Bossler, mechanical engineering
Reed Hubbell, mechanical engineering
Alfie Tsang, systems engineering
Dean Whitman, aerospace engineering
Kaitlyn Williams, optical sciences and engineering
Steven Wirth, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

Sending sensors to space at lower cost

Team 15065

A standard space-ready CubeSat microsatellite measures 10 centimeters on each side, fits in the palm of your hand and costs roughly $40,000.

Sponsored by Raytheon Missile Systems, Team 15065 is designing a CubeSat that costs less than $5,000 and uses off-the-shelf components. One of the novel features of the low-cost satellite is that its frame is manufactured using 3-D printing and appropriate resins.

The redesigned CubeSat will be used to take environmental measurements in space.

“We are creating a satellite with parts that anyone can buy online,” said Alfie Tsang, systems test lead.

These parts include a memory chip, a microcontroller, a temperature sensor, a transceiver, a signal modulator and solar panels.

The technology inside the satellite must survive harsh launch conditions and extreme temperatures while running for up to 24 hours without power and engaging in risky interactions with space junk.

The team started out with a standard solid-printed CubeSat provided by the sponsor as an example. In addition to funding the project, Raytheon Missile Systems has provided 3-D printing services to the team.

“We are very fortunate that we can get our parts printed through our sponsor with a one-day turnaround,” said team lead Kaitlyn Williams. “This allowed us to rapidly perfect our mechanical structures while assembling our CubeSat.”

The team assembled their CubeSat in April and verified that it met all system design goals. They will display their prototype at Engineering Design Day 2016 on May 3.

Mentor Greg Ogden

Mentor Greg OgdenChemical engineer guides seniors in the process of becoming practitioners.

As a process engineer for more than 20 years, Greg Ogden has helped companies improve their industrial processes. As a mentor in the UA Engineering Design Program for six years, he has helped seniors establish effective procedures for their team projects and make smooth transitions from college students to practicing engineers.

His journey began with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Washington and University of Colorado, respectively. He worked as a process engineer for companies in Colorado and New Mexico for several years.

A UA faculty appointment for his wife Kim Ogden brought him to Tucson in 1993. The pair founded the local consulting firm Ogden Engineering & Associates in 1999, which has completed several Small Business Innovation Research projects related to green propellants and renewable fuels.

Greg earned a PhD in chemical engineering from the UA in 2002 and joined the faculty of the department of chemical and environmental engineering as an associate research professor in 2006.

He says mentoring Engineering Design teams provides a stimulating break from business as usual.

“Finding a way to utilize my process engineering skills in a project design class is challenging, as the projects more often focus on the design cycle and product design, rather than processes.”

What keeps him mentoring from year to year?

“Seeing that light bulb turn on, when students really take ownership of their projects. That’s a big part of the transition from student to engineer.”

Team 15043

Project Title: Toilet Leak and Flood Prevention

QuakeWrap Inc. logoTeam 15043 Members:
Matthew Britton, systems engineering
Ian Carmichael, electrical and computer engineering
Eliza Dawson, mechanical engineering
Diego Morales, mechanical engineering
Derek Strickland, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: QuakeWrap Inc.

Timer-controlled valve limits impact of hidden leaks

Team 15043

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than one trillion gallons of water are lost in household leaks in the U.S. each year. Toilet malfunctions account for most of the loss.

For homeowners, the impact of toilet leaks extends to structural damage and health hazards like increased mold and bacterial growth.

QuakeWrap Inc., a Tucson-based company founded by a former College of Engineering professor, has tasked a group of students with mitigating the risk for disaster.

Team 15043 is working on a system that does more than detect leaks in American-style toilets – it stops them before they can escalate into household catastrophes.

The students have designed a secondary valve system that limits water flow with a timer. When the toilet is flushed, a chain flips a switch inside the tank. The switch opens a valve and starts the timer, which can be adjusted to allow for different water flow rates on different toilets. When the timer goes off, the valve closes. If a leak develops or a hose breaks, the valve will not let any water into the toilet, essentially eliminating risk of the toilet flooding.

Subtlety is a key feature for the system. “If your toilet is functioning normally, you’ll never know it’s there,” team member Matthew Britton explained. “However, if there’s a leak, you’ll only lose the water in the tank, and you’ll know there’s a leak because there will be no water in the toilet.”

As Engineering Design Day approaches on May 3, the team is waterproofing the switch and completing the electrical system for the control box.

Meanwhile, the sponsors are filing a patent application on the students’ results.

Team 15030; Justine Bacchus and Brennen Guy

Project Title: Water Processing and Cleaning for Reuse

Shamrock Farms logoTeam 15030 Members:
Justine Bacchus, biomedical engineering
Brennen Guy, mechanical engineering
Cory Luke, biomedical engineering
Edward Mackay, engineering management
Nicholas Siegel, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Shamrock Foods

Triple-filtration process uses natural methods to clear dairy debris

Team 15030; Justine Bacchus and Brennen Guy

Water conservation is a major concern for arid Arizona – and for food-service distributor Shamrock Foods, which supplies fresh dairy products and other comestibles to the Southwest.

The company’s Phoenix location alone averages 500,000 gallons of industrial wastewater per day, and replacing all that water costs almost half a million dollars per year.

Shamrock Foods has enlisted Team 15030 to boost water use efficiency in its distribution centers by recycling wastewater back into production without adding any potentially harmful chemicals.

The team is relying on natural biological processes to filter the water the factory uses to steam-clean and rinse milk containers.

The first step of their reclamation process uses a bioreactor made from a high-powered bubbler and bio-ring filters, like those found in fish tanks, to break down organic waste and pull out large particulates. A reverse-osmosis system then removes smaller pollutants. Finally, the water is pumped through an ultraviolet filtration system, which kills leftover bacteria and leaves clean, serviceable water.

The design returns 70 percent of the wastewater to the factory floor for reuse.

“Getting clean sources of water is a big problem for Southwestern states,” said team member Brennen Guy. “For a company to use recycled water is a huge step.”

The team is currently building a prototype of the system and testing each section separately before assembly. They expect to finish the project by the end of April for presentation to the public on Engineering Design Day on May 3.

Project Title: Autonomous Indoor Mapping System

UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering logoTeam 15017 Members:
Xander Deputy, optical sciences and engineering
Kevin Fox, electrical and computer engineering
Christopher Meyer, systems engineering
Cody Mitts, mechanical engineering
Jiaxiang Wang, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Self-steering machine to measure and map room dimensions

Team 15017 discusses their projectCreating blueprints for existing buildings requires the skills of specially trained surveyors and drafters. Using an idea by Regents’ Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Michael Marcellin, Team 15017 is designing an autonomous vehicle that will scan the interior of a building to produce electronic architectural drawings.

The robot will have an integrated autopilot system to steer it from room to room. Infrared sensors and a 360-degree laser scanner will take the measurements to display on a computer screen.

“We believe the device could be used by construction crews and realty companies to visualize a building site or house,” said team member Jiaxiang Wang.

The students hope to add a bonus 3-D mapping feature, not required in the initial project mission, to produce visually integrated walkthroughs.

Teammate Cody Mitts said, “The key to all of this is software. Having a robust program to fulfill the tasks is important.”

The team has assembled the vehicle’s frame and is now implementing the infrared camera and laser scanner. Soon they will begin testing circuits in the remote control and vehicle body.

They expect to build and test their prototype by late April or early May, in time to display on Engineering Design Day.

Team leader Lindsey Carlson works on the autonomous vehicle navigation device.
Project Title: Autonomous Vehicle Navigation Test Bed

UA Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering logoTeam 15016 Members:
Abdulaziz Al Moaigel, mechanical engineering
Matthew Burger, electrical and computer engineering
Lindsey Carlson, systems engineering
Junhwa Song, electrical and computer engineering
Bo Xiao, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: UA Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Creating and coding tools to help autonomous vehicles navigate

Team leader Lindsey Carlson works on the autonomous vehicle navigation device.Team 15016 is helping David Gaylor, associate professor of practice in the UA department of aerospace and mechanical engineering, to develop a test bed for autonomous vehicle navigation systems.

The students are building a prototype device with an omnidirectional wheel system, wireless radio-frequency network communication and onboard navigational programming capabilities.

Researchers will design their own devices using this base unit and load them with custom guidance, navigation and control software that reveals where the autonomous vehicle thinks it is in an arena lined with infrared cameras. The researchers can compare their data to information from the cameras, which show the vehicle’s true position and orientation, to determine the efficacy of their algorithms.

“The challenge is the software,” said team leader Lindsey Carlson. He expects the team to spend many hours programming and testing their code with the hardware.

Electrical and computer engineering majors Matthew Burger and Junhwa Song are currently writing the code. The team is working to make the unit functional for new users and expects to have a running prototype by Engineering Design Day 2016 on May 3.

Dakota Luepke talks with rest of Team 15036 about the next steps on their project.
Project Title: Humidity Control in Spacesuits

Paragon Space Development Corp. logoTeam 15036 Members:
Hailey Davenport, biomedical engineering
Dakota Luepke, materials science and engineering
Joel Mintz, biomedical engineering
Kathryn Pflueger, biomedical engineering
Andrew Siemens, mechanical engineering
Lindsay Small, systems engineering

Sponsor: Paragon Space Development Corp.

Helping astronauts breathe a little easier

Dakota Luepke talks with rest of Team 15036 about the next steps on their project.Water buildup inside spacesuits can lead to a host of equipment problems. Conversely, portable life support systems installed in spacesuits tend to overdesiccate breathable air, causing discomfort for astronauts.

Team 15036 aims to alleviate both issues by improving water reclamation inside spacesuits.

The dry air is caused by the Rapid Cycle Amine system, or RCA, which removes waste carbon dioxide. The students are using the Nafion bundle technology developed by project sponsor Paragon Space Development Corp. to divert a small amount of moisture from the RCA.

“One of our biggest hurdles is figuring out whether to put the Nafion bundles in a series or parallel configuration,” said team member Kathryn Pflueger. “We will also have to think about the effect of zero gravity.”

The team has already constructed a mathematical model for the system. They expect to begin building and testing their prototype at the Paragon labs in March, after presenting their detailed design and model to the company for final approval.

Doug MayIt is rocket science for this seven-year veteran of the design program.

For Doug May, the best part of mentoring students in the UA Engineering Design Program is helping them solve real problems.

“I like projects coming from businesses and requiring real solutions,” said May, an expert in orbital mechanics and solid rocket motor propellants.

While an officer in the U.S. Air Force, he managed the propulsion subsystem development for the Inertial Upper Stage rocket that flew on the space shuttle and Titan launch vehicle. He also managed integration of Department of Defense payloads on the space shuttle.

After retiring from the Air Force, May worked for aerospace stalwart Orbital ATK, where he helped engineer propellant design for the space shuttle reusable solid rocket motors.

May has taught space propulsion and other courses at the Florida Institute of Technology and Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the class Orbital Mechanics and Space Flight here at the University of Arizona.

In his seven years of mentoring engineering capstone students at the UA, he’s seen the design program mature as enrollment has grown. One thing, above all, impresses him: the students’ focus and passion for their work. Mentoring them has never lost its magic.

“The capstone design sequence integrates skills from many undergraduate courses. Every year gives me an experience with new sponsors, new design challenges and new student teams.”

A wave breaking in the open ocean. Photo credit Malene Thyssen / Wikimedia Commons
A wave breaking in the open ocean. Photo credit Malene Thyssen / Wikimedia CommonsEngineering Design Day 2016 will feature more than 100 interdisciplinary and subject-specific projects completed by student teams for mostly corporate sponsors, on topics as diverse as autonomous vehicles and inkjet-printed antennas. Three featured projects, however, have something in common: They’re solving engineering issues for the open seas.

Hydronalix, a local company founded by College of Engineering alumnus Tony Mulligan that won a 2015 U.S. Small Business Administration Tibbetts Award, is sponsoring two teams this year. Both aim to improve the versatility of the Emergency Integrated Lifesaving Lanyard robot, named a top invention by Popular Science and Time magazines. Students will work on the launch canister and sonar module for EMILY, a robotic lifeguard that made its first real-world rescue in 2012.

Design Day mainstay Texas Instruments has sponsored five teams a year since 2010 and funded the prestigious Analog Design Contest Award. Previous designs using the company’s semiconductors, integrated circuits and electronics have explored projects ranging from rockets to renewable energy systems to medical devices. This year’s deep-water sensor project, a remote system for collecting and sending scientific data, adds another facet to TI’s ever-expanding repertoire.

Team 15044 discuss their project around a table
Project Title: Deep-Water Sensor System

Texas Instruments logoTeam 15044 Members:
Matthew Ray Barragan, electrical and computer engineering
Austin Anthony Nawrocki, mechanical engineering
Nikitha Ramohalli, electrical and computer engineering
Alex Yudkovitz, systems engineering
Yi Zhang, electrical and computer engineering 

Sponsor: Texas Instruments

Team 15044 discuss their project around a tableTeam 15044 is charged with designing a small sensor system to take scientific data in deep water and transmit it long-distance to a base station on the surface, at minimal cost.

The probe – which measures pressure, temperature, acoustics and pH levels that indicate pollution concentrations – must be able to accept commands and power from the base station. The team is developing software to control and monitor the sensor. The most critical testing will evaluate in simulated but realistic lab conditions the signal strength and accuracy between sensor and station.

The team is working hard to meet as many objectives as possible by Design Day. During winter break in late December, team member Matthew Barragan started creating the controller and programming its interface, while electrical and computer engineering majors Nikitha Ramohalli and Yi Zhang began designing the base station’s electrical system.

The team remains cognizant of time and budgetary concerns, but their progress over break gives them a spring-semester advantage.

“The biggest challenge is to make sure our design actually works when we translate our plans from paper to machine,” said team leader Alex Yudkovitz.

The EMILY robotic lifeguard system at the Design Program open house
Project Title: Sonar Module Integration for the EMILY Rescue Boat

Hydronalix logoTeam 15008 Members:
Jeremy Burris, industrial engineering
Jordan Driggs, mechanical engineering
Uriel Garcia, electrical and computer engineering
Matthew Sybrant, systems engineering
Jessica Vickers Toll, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Hydronalix

The EMILY robotic lifeguard system at the Design Program open houseResembling a small red motorboat and weighing only 25 pounds, the EMILY robotic lifeguard can reach drowning swimmers up to six times faster than a human lifeguard, serve as a flotation device for six people, and operate in weather and surf conditions that impede traditional rescue methods.

Team 15008 is integrating a sonar system onto the EMILY rescue boat, enabling underwater scanning in search and recovery missions. Additionally, sponsor Hydronalix has asked the team to mount a front-facing waterproof camera onboard to provide a real-time water-level video feed.

The team’s greatest challenge is establishing and maintaining wireless communication between the user and EMILY. Team members also must integrate the sonar entirely within EMILY’s flotation cover, making the boat available for multiple missions with a simple cover exchange.

This project is not team leader Matthew Sybrant’s first foray into marine technologies. He spent several years in the Navy as a radar technician and anticipates great success.

“We have a stellar team, and we are all confident that we can meet these goals,” Sybrant said.

Teammate and fellow Raytheon intern Jordan Driggs has been excited to contribute.

“I wanted an engineering challenge and knew this was the kind of project that would have good people on it,” he said.

Mentor Clayton Grantham
Mentor Clayton GranthamAlthough retired, Grantham works tirelessly to improve students’ senior capstone experience.

As a second-generation Tucson native, two-time graduate of the University of Arizona College of Engineering and Engineering Design Program mentor since 2007, Clayton Grantham definitely fits the description of “Wildcat for Life.”

After completing his BS in electrical engineering in 1981, Grantham worked for Tucson-based Burr-Brown Corp. as a test engineer and product engineering manager in analog semiconductor engineering. He also published articles to highlight the latest operational amplifiers, data converters and various analog products and, in 1987, earned a master’s degree.

In 1997, he joined National Semiconductor as a test development manager for its power management product line. He retired in 2005.

However, Grantham couldn’t resist the call of the Engineering Design Program.

“When you get to work with these bright young people there is an exuberant feeling – like you’re part of the atoms that are being used to build something bigger,” he said.

Since joining the program, Grantham has mentored almost every team sponsored by Texas Instruments, the company that acquired Burr-Brown shortly after he left.

“I am down in the AME or ECE lab the majority of the time,” he said, “and I don’t leave until they say uncle.”

Brethren Armament logoTop image: Two people place a horse's hoof on a sensor plate. Bottom image: A man kneels to place a laptop in a padded case.By the time Engineering Design Team 1414 delivered the Advanced Farrier System, or AFS, to Design Day 2015, its sponsor, Brethren Systems, had already filed for a patent.

The low-cost, portable device, which uses sensor data to measure hoof pressure and dimensions, is designed for early detection of lameness and disease and to ensure a horse’s shoes fit correctly.

The project, which was based on technology that analyzes tire treads, not only moved along at a fast clip, it also caught the eye of judges, who rewarded the team’s outstanding work with the Sargent Aerospace and Defense Voltaire Design Award and the Edmund Optics Perseverance and Recovery Award.

The sponsor’s intensive involvement was a big part of their recipe for success.

Sponsor Quinn McIntosh was also a team member, providing expertise as a mechanical engineering major alongside biomedical engineering seniors Lindsay Bahureksa and Lindsey Conklin, systems engineering student Matt Ellison, optical sciences and engineering student Jacob Landsiedel, and electrical and computer engineering major Jovan Vance.

“The fact that we could talk to our sponsor about modifications right away and he could make decisions instantly was great,” said Conklin.

Here is how the AFS works: When a horse steps on the system’s film, differences in color represent pressure points on the hoof. The system then analyzes the impression data to identify potential foot maladies and provide individualized guidelines for horseshoeing.

McIntosh sees potential applications in veterinary medicine and the horse-racing industry.

“The Engineering Design Program gave me access to resources unavailable to a private entity, including the fantastic and diverse experts I needed to develop a product and actually bring it to market,” he said.

Portrait of Gerald Pine
Portrait of Gerald PineGerald Pine, who has been coaching students in the UA Engineering Design Program for the last nine years, is all about instilling confidence in students about to enter the workforce.

“Every year, the teams are surprised by their accomplishments, and their successes surprise us, the mentors, as well. It’s such a confidence builder for the students to see the results when they learn to work together, particularly with teammates from other disciplines.”

Pine brought 28 years of industry experience – and boundless energy – to the program when he joined in 2006, much to his mentees’ benefit. An MIT graduate with a PhD in nuclear engineering, he held positions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and natural gas research institutions before founding his own consulting company. At the University of Arizona, he has served as a lecturer for Interdisciplinary Engineering Design (ENGR 498) and Engineering Component Design (AME 324B). Each year he mentors six or seven capstone design teams.

Things have changed since Pine earned his degrees, but, he said, the value of engineering design projects is timeless.

“My capstone course was only one semester long, with a paper design, and it was not interdisciplinary. Even so, I served as an industry adviser for that program during the ’80s and saw how rewarding it was. The UA Engineering Design Program teaches students what it’s like to work real jobs and bridges their years of coursework with industry.”

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
PSE Archery logoUniversity of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498After sponsoring a 2015 UA Engineering Design team that helped double its rate of compound bow production, without increasing the number of employees on the assembly line, Precision Shooting Equipment is back for a second year. This time to create an affordable American-made crossbow for beginning shooters.

Team 1402’s time studies during the fall of 2014 and spring of 2015 tracked assembly-line movement of the crossbow, employees and resources. Based on results of the study, which determined precisely how long each assembly operation took, the team recommended cutting batch size to promote single-piece flow, redesigning the assembly floor layout, and implementing a conveyor belt, system designs the company has built on to significantly decrease cost of production of its hand-assembled crossbows. Members of the team included systems engineering majors Bryan Krause and Michael Miramontez, mechanical engineering seniors Clark Pedersen and Robert McLean, industrial engineering senior Ryan Saunders, and electrical engineering major Chris Carr.

This year, UA Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Team 15022 has big shoes to fill.

Mechanical engineering seniors Joseph Lucero, Austin Masterson and Ahmed Mustafawi, systems engineering student Matthew Modean, and materials science and engineering major Kyle Vinh Nguyen are tasked with creating a crossbow constructed at least 80 percent from components already available at PSE’s Tucson, Arizona, facilities.

PSE, one of the world’s largest privately owned archery equipment manufacturers, intends to expand its manufacturing repertoire with its own version of the Taiwan-imported Fang 350.

“We want to build a crossbow valued at $299 to $399, something that is lightweight, fast and quiet,” said Bret Simon, PSE vice president of operations. “There is no reason we can’t make our own product right here in Tucson.”

lockheed martin_51A7266_00Members of Engineering Design Team 1425 presented their 2015 project in August at the largest international multidisciplinary optical sciences and technology gathering in North America, the SPIE Optics + Photonics Conference. Mechanical engineering graduates Richard Bates and Harrison Herzog and senior Jeremy Smith drew the attention of hundreds in San Diego as they demonstrated their 3-D printed mirror – strong enough to endure the polishing process and stiff enough to eliminate print-through.

“Our room was almost full, and there were people standing in the back of the room. They wanted to see what we had done,” said Bates. “We were lucky to be sponsored by Lockheed Martin, go to the conference and network with people in the industry.”

About 180 companies were represented at the 2015 conference, with an attendance of more than 4,500.

“Normally with metal optics you have stress on the optics from mounting it,” Smith explained. “This way the mounting is already done, and there is an optical mirror ready to go.”

Key challenges included reducing the mirror’s porosity and determining the best polishing methods.

“I think we are among the first to polish a material within a 3-D printer,” said Smith.

While the team was not able to perfect the process – the 3-D printer used to make the optical mirror created bubbles on the surface of the titanium during the manufacturing process – the project, “Optical Fabrication of Light-Weighted 3-D Printed Mirrors,” proved the feasibility of metal 3-D printing of optical mirrors.

“3-D printing has not made it yet with what we were doing, but I think 3-D will get to that point; we just need more time,” said Bates, who is now employed with Apple in California. Herzog is at NASA, and Smith is looking forward to graduating in December.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

_51A7394

More sponsors and students than ever before filled the Grand Ballroom in the Student Union on Aug. 28, 2015, for the Engineering Design Program’s Open House. The kickoff event provided an opportunity for 368 engineering seniors to meet with industry and faculty sponsors to discuss 70 projects.

451A7333

Richard Fox of Honeywell (left) talks with a potential student regarding his project during Open House. (Photo by Julian Ybarra)

“We are pleased that our sponsors recognize the great value in this program,” said Ara Arabyan, director of the Engineering Clinic at the University of Arizona, which oversees the Engineering Design Program. “This is a course where students transition to professional careers, and employers see opportunities to recruit tried and tested top talent.”

Companies also say the program is an opportunity to advance new technology.

“Industry doesn’t have anything like the project we have proposed,” said Honeywell’s Richard Fox.
“If the students succeed, we will have a potential new design that can be applied in industry.”

New Companies, New Ideas

Along with longtime multiproject industry sponsors such as Raytheon Missile Systems, Honeywell Aerospace, Ventana Medical Systems (Roche Group), Texas Instruments and B/E Aerospace, this year’s Open House welcomed several new companies, among them powerhouses Procter & Gamble, Southwest Gas and Shamrock Foods, as well as local companies Western Design Center, PACE Technologies, ACSS (L-3 Communications), Control Vision, Hydronalix, Lightsense Technology, Xeridiem Medical Devices, Universal Avionics, Securaplane Technologies, and CardioSpark. Back in the mix for their second year of sponsorships were Tucson Electric Power, Lincus Energy, NeuroMetrix and PSE-Archery.

Check out all of the 2016 Engineering Senior Design projects and sponsors.
The projects areas are as varied as their sponsors, for example:

  • From a heart rate monitor for athletes to a laser based collision prevention system, Texas Instruments’ five projects alone cover a wide range of designs.
  • Shamrock Foods is exploring a way to recycle and reuse 500,000 gallons of water used daily in processing and cleaning.
  • Hydronalix is sponsoring two project to advance its robotic rescue system, Emily, a 4-foot-long, remote-controlled buoy that cruises at speeds up to 22 mph to reach distressed swimmers.
  • Newcomer Xeridiem’s project focuses on more effective use of nasogastric tubes for patients unable to ingest food and medication orally.

Familiar Faces, Full Circle

Some graduates of ENGR 498, the course that encompasses the Senior Design Program, traded in their roles as students for those of sponsors, recruiting the perfect students for the perfect project.

Ben Subeck and Huy Le, who graduated in 2015, returned for this year’s Open House as representatives for Raytheon.

“Without the 498 program, I wouldn’t have the experience I have now, and I wouldn’t be where I am today in my career,” said Subeck. “There are things I have applied on the job that I only gained through the program.”

Boeing representative Danielle Craig (Class of 2011) added, “My executives love that we do this. Every year after Engineering Design Day, I give a presentation of what the students did… That’s why we keep coming back, because it’s such a good program.”

Check out the photos from Open House!

Sanders_Ivar_00

With the new round of capstone projects for 2015, Ivar Sanders begins his seventh year as a mentor for the Engineering Senior Design Program. A University of Minnesota graduate, the retired electrical engineer who spent 35 years in California, now calls Tucson home.

Having worked with companies such as Honeywell, National Semiconductor and Nokia, and been involved with three startups, Sanders brings to the program a wealth of leadership experience and a breadth of knowledge in wired and wireless networking, hardware development and strategic technology.

More than anything, Sanders said, the program gives students a chance to sample their future careers.

“The projects are more complex than anything they have worked on until this point. We try to give them an idea of how industry plans and designs products. These are real world-projects. That’s the wonderful thing about this program: This is not make-work; these are things that sponsoring companies actually want to accomplish.”

Over the years, including his time as a vice president of engineering for a Silicon Valley semiconductor firm and as a mentor in the Senior Design Program, Sanders has especially enjoyed forming multimodal teams that merge different skill sets and perspectives.

“Working on an interdisciplinary team is particularly valuable for students,” said Sanders. “It exposes them to peers from different specialties, and it helps them learn how to collaborate on everything from product design to time management as they figure out how to distribute the workload, plan their tasks and budgets, build a prototype and do all the testing.”

Mentoring the budding engineers also gives Sanders a chance to ride the wave of new technology.

“I like working with the students, and I like the broad range of projects that are brought into the program. The fact that this is an interdisciplinary program is a real plus. We try to mix it up and encourage the sponsoring companies to propose multifaceted projects that require different kinds of expertise.”

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: Design and Demonstration of a Head-Up Display honeywell

Team 1405 Members:
Adam Blumer, optical sciences and engineering
Michael Green, systems engineering
Matthew Hart, mechanical engineering
Erick Leon, systems engineering
Nick Paco, electrical engineering
Stephania Vasilieva, systems engineering

Sponsor: Honeywell

1405_webTeam 1405’s holographic head-up display, or HUD, was a double award winner at Engineering Design Day 2015. Team members took home the Honeywell Excellence in Aerospace Electronic System Design Award and the II-VI Optical Systems Award for Best Use of Optical Design and Technology.

Using holographic waveguide technology, the HUD puts images of real-time flight and aircraft performance data in front of pilots, which allows them to stay focused on the outside world. The device has the potential to reduce eye fatigue and improve safety during takeoff and landing in poor visibility and degraded weather conditions.

“I’ve always been into airplanes. Since I was a little kid, I’ve wanted to be a pilot,” said team leader Erick Leon, who also won the Honeywell Team Leadership Award. “Even though I have a pilot’s license, I enjoy supporting the pilots by creating technology for planes and making the passenger experience better.”

Not only was the project an award winner, but Leon was a job winner. Just after graduation he began working with Honeywell full-time as an application engineer, testing avionics – electronics and instruments – in commercial airplanes.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: Sabino Canyon VTOL UAVrincon-research-corporation-squarelogo

Team 1463 Members:
Rita Ezeugwu, aerospace engineering
Nestor Franco, aerospace engineering
Nicolle Hervey, aerospace engineering
Youra Jun, aerospace engineering
Sean Parker, aerospace engineering
Steven Rishor, aerospace engineering
Yiming Zhang, aerospace engineering

Sponsor: Rincon Research Corp.

1463_webThe final product was a UAV with a fixed wing and tail, five motors and propellers, and a flight controller that switched between hover, slow forward flight and fast forward flight.

The surveillance drone performed as expected – it could take off and land vertically and move through mountains and canyons. The team’s performance earned members the 2015 Ventana Award for Innovation in Engineering.

At times, however, success of the Rincon Research Corporation-sponsored mission – create a UAV that can take off vertically, fly to a location four miles away, cruise at an altitude of 500 feet in a half square mile, then return within 30 minutes – seemed impossible.

“We were having a problem with the center of gravity,” explained team leader Steven Rishor. “Whenever it took off, it would want to divert to the aft section, so it would go straight backwards.”

With a hybrid aircraft that combined the vertical takeoff and landing capabilities of an H-frame quadcopter and the flight characteristics of a fixed-wing aircraft, the team was finally in business.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: X-56A DART: Dynamically Scaled Aircraft for Research and Testing Nasaafosr_logolockheed martin

Team 1461 Members:
Rosanna Bether, aerospace engineering
Kristofer Drozd, aerospace engineering
Phillip Greenberg, aerospace engineering
Brianna Grembowski, aerospace engineering
Harry Powell, aerospace engineering

Sponsors: Lockheed Martin, Air Force Office of Scientific Research and NASA

Remotely piloted experimental aircraft are key to testing new aircraft designs.1461_web

Team 1461 worked on modifying the X-56A, which originally had a swept-wing configuration. They developed a half-scale model of the experimental aircraft with straight wings and a tail.

The Dynamically Scaled Aircraft for Research Testing, or DART, will be used to assess the safety and efficiency of various wing configurations – flexible, rigid, straight and swept – in aircraft design.

For their outstanding modifications, the team received the CAID Industries Innovation in Manufacturing Award at Engineering Design Day 2015.

The DART’s successful design was not the only accomplishment that made the team proud.

“We had a lot to do, and one of the biggest things I learned was how to communicate about a very technical project with people who are not as technically experienced,” said team member Phillip Greenberg, who described the design project as the best part of his college experience.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

winner1Raytheon Sensintel Award for Best Overall Design, First Prize – $1,000
Robotic Ordnance Neutralizer (RON)
Team 1415: Elisa Duarte, Jeremy Gin, Cassie Kammerman, Mark Roche, Greg Stanford, Jaime Lara Martinez
Project Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

 

 

winner2Raytheon Sensintel Award for Best Overall Design, Second Prize – $750
Super-Stainer Precision Thermal Control
Team 1427: Marissa Lopez-Pier, Amy Vaughn, Ziad Alrayes, Cody Kalmick, Koriel Lambson, Chris Sanford
Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems

 

 

winner3Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use, First Prize – $1,500
Building a Smarter Grid
Team 1404: Jacob Chess, Peter Lankisch, Viviana Llano, Daniel McLeod, Alex Moser, Eric Sahr
Project Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power

 

 

winner4Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use, Second Prize – $500
Dynamic Soaring of UAVs
Team 1464: Katherine Borg, Elizabeth Yakoob, Brent Reichert, Aaron Woodard
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

 

winner7Thorlabs Photonics Is the Future Award – $250 Each Up to $1,750
Automated Optical Surface Defect Detection Tool
Team 1437: Shabeeb Shah, Benjamin Cromey, Lisa Li, Nicholas Smith, Rafael Haro, Michael McDermott
Project Sponsor: Edmund Optics

 

 

winner6Rincon Research Award for Best Presentation – $1,000
Electromechanical Shaft Disconnect for Generators
Team 1420: Jose Luttmann, Isaiah Bruno, Michel Mora, Ivy Hasman
Project Sponsor: Honeywell

 

 

Texas Instruments Analog Design Contest Award – $1,000
Strain Gauge Based Cycling Power Meter
Team 1435: Tasia Nash, Vincent Carknard, Adam Osman, Vincent Hunt, Cameron Clementson
Project Sponsor: Texas Instruments

 

 

winner8Ventana Award for Innovation in Engineering – $1,000 
Sabino Canyon VTOL UAV
Team 1463: Rita Ezeugwu, Nestor Franco, Nicolle Hervey, Youra Jun, Sean Parker, Steven Rishor, Yiming Zhang
Project Sponsor: Rincon Research Corp.

 

 

ACSS/L-3 Communications Award for Most Robust Systems Engineering -$750
Boeing Teammate Awareness Device
Team 1411: Amanda Coldren, Vincent Cordasco, Anthony Giang, David Schwartz, Xue Meng, Matthew Ware
Project Sponsor: Boeing Mesa Helicopter Co.

 

 

winner10CAID Industries Award for Innovation in Manufacturing – $750
X-56A DART: Dynamically Scaled Aircraft for Research and Testing
Team 1461: Phillip Greenberg, Brianna Grembowski, Harry Powell, Rosanna Bether, Kristofer Drozd
Project Sponsors: NASA, Lockheed-Martin and the Air Force Office of Scientific Research

 

 

winner11Edmund Optics Award for Perseverance and Recovery – $750
Advanced Farrier System
Team 1414: Lindsay Bahureksa, Lindsey Conklin, Matt Ellison, Jacob Landsiedel, Quinn McIntosh, Jovan Vance
Project Sponsor: Brethren Systems

 

 

winner12W.L. Gore and Associates Award for Most Creative Solution – $750
Variable-Pitch Propeller for UAVs
Team 1408: Kym Beeston, Grant Province, Zane Sheets, Zach Spaulding, Chris Van Cleave, Jeff Williams
Project Sponsor: Northrop Grumman

 

 

winner13Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies (PADT) Award for Best Use of Prototyping – $750
Delivery of an Endovascular Device for a Bifurcating Vascular Anatomy
Team 1429: Andrea Acuna, Carmelo Moraila, Marysol Luna, Matthew Davis, Matthew Kirk, Sean Ashley
Project Sponsor: UA Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory

 

 

winner14Raytheon Award for Best Engineering Analysis – $750
Wireless Flow Sensor for Cerebrospinal Fluid Shunts
Team 1442: Brianna Moon, Han Zhao, Jessica Mergener, LaRay Graner, Lyndsay Batman, Megan Cornman
Project Sponsor: Texas Instruments

 

 

winner15Sargent Aerospace & Defense Voltaire Design Award – $750
Advanced Farrier System
Team 1414: Lindsay Bahureksa, Lindsey Conklin, Matt Ellison, Jacob Landsiedel, Quinn McIntosh, Jovan Vance
Project Sponsor: Brethren Systems

 

 

winner16Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona Award for Best Design Documentation – $750
Remote Imaging System Acquisition (RISA) Project
Team 1416: Luis Ballesteros, Nicole Sheesley, Braden Smith, Joseph Tang, Yusuke Watanabe
Project Sponsor: National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Johnson Space Center

 

 

winner17TRAX International Award for Best Implementation of Agile Methodology – $750
Design of Multistory Historical LEED Building
Team 1479: Mireya Moleres, Joel Amarillas, Haley Koesters, Nawar Sadeq, Gabriela Brambila, Blake Brennan
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics

 

 

winner18Arizona Center for Innovation Award for Most Marketable Design – $500
Smartphone Integrated Gun Lock
Team 1444: Ariel Austin, Aaron Clark, Christopher Downs, Edward Enhelder, Aaron Grabowska, Simon Noudelman
Project Sponsor: Christopher J. Downs & Associates

 

 

Dataforth Corporation Award for Best Design Using a Data Acquisition and Control System – $500
A Method for the Morphing Actuation of Continuous Control Surfaces
Team 1462: Austin Smith, Ruben Adkins, Josef Merki, Zachary Miller, David Springer, Wen Quan Tan
Project Sponsor: UA Student Chapter of American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

 

Honeywell Award for Team Leadership – Two Individuals at $250 Each
Andrea Acuna
Erick Leon

winner21II-VI Optical Systems Award for Best Use of Optical Design and Technology – $500
Design and Demonstration of a Head-Up Display
Team 1405: Adam Blumer, Erick Leon, Matthew Hart, Michael Green, Nick Paco, Stephania Vasilieva
Project Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

 

 

winner22Latitude Engineering Award for Best Physical Implementation of Analytically Driven Design – $500
Composite Autotransformer Thermal Improvement
Team 1421: Ji Ma, Michael McCabe, John McKearney, Zachary Prince, Erik Wise
Project Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

 

 

winner23Universal Avionics Award for Best Integration and Test Philosophy – $500
Air Quality Sensor System
Team 1431: Rodrigo Toler, Mary Coffelt, Wellington Lee, Toshifumi Tanabe, Edward Baumann
Project Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

 

 

winner24UA Center on Aging: Arizona Center on Gerimetrics Award – $500
Android Platform Hearing Assist Device Refinement and Form Factor & Usability Assessment
Team 1447: Temesgen Fesahazion, Richard Gonzales, Alexandra Hoeger, Saradadevi Thanikachalam, Jill Wynne, Jue Zhang, Michael Ziccarelli
Project Sponsor: Arizona Center on Aging

 

 

winner25Honeywell Award for Excellence in Aerospace Electronic System Design – $400
Design and Demonstration of a Head-Up Display
Team 1405: Adam Blumer, Erick Leon, Matthew Hart, Michael Green, Nick Paco, Stephania Vasilieva
Project Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

 

Kristy Pearson Fish Out of Water Award, First Prize – $250
John McKearney

Kristy Pearson Fish Out of Water Award, Second Prize – $150
Mary Coffelt

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: Electromechanical Shaft Disconnect for Generatorshoneywell logo

Team 1420 Members:
Isaiah Bruno, mechanical engineering
Ivy Hasman, materials science and engineering
Jose Luttmann, mechanical engineering
Michel Mora, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Honeywell

Congratulations to Team 1420 for winning the Rincon Research Best Presentation Award at Engineering Design Day 2015.1420

The team advanced development of a new type of electromechanical shaft to disconnect an aircraft generator from engine output in the event of an electrical short or bearing failure.

Aircraft generators are driven by the engines and help provide electrical power. The problem with current disconnect mechanisms is that they can result in irreparable and costly generator damage.

“What they have between the aircraft engine and the generator is a called a shear point,” explained team member Ivy Hasman. “The shear point breaks apart the shaft, so that the engine is still spinning with the generator disengaged, but now there is still a broken shaft.”

The new electromechanical shaft disconnect allows the engine to continue providing power to the aircraft without further damaging the generator.

“The purpose is to save the entire generator from complete failure,” said team member Jose Luttmann. He added, “We were limited in what we could do, but we’re pretty confident that the device will work on a large-scale model.”

Honeywell, which sponsored the project, is considering the design for future use.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

Project Title: Super-Stainer Precision Thermal Controlventana logo

Team 1427 Members:
Ziad Alrayes, industrial engineering
Cody Kalmick, mechanical engineering
Koriel Lambson, mechanical engineering
Marissa Lopez-Pier, biomedical engineering
Chris Sanford, electrical engineering
Amy Vaughn, biomedical engineering

Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

Sometimes trial and error pays off. It did for Team 1427. 1427

The team took second place in the Raytheon Sensintel Best Overall Design competition at Engineering Design Day 2015.

With off-the-shelf components, Team 1427 developed a more efficient system for microscopic examination of tissue samples. The system allows for testing a sample at three different temperatures.

“The point of thermal control is that instead of running three different tests under three different temperatures, you can run one thermal test across a single microscope,” explained team member Chris Sanford.

The project expanded on existing slide-staining techniques, in which tissue is attached to a slide by a process called heat fixing and a dye is added to the samples to make cells and cell components easier to view.

Team members, with the help of mentors Chris Donat, Kenyon Kehl and Steven Lei, had several challenges to overcome — like figuring out which materials would make the best slide base without contaminating the sample.

Marissa Lopez-Pier was in constant contact with project sponsor Ventana Medical Systems as the team worked through the different possibilities.

“We couldn’t use certain metals that would give off contaminants, or material that gives off ions like iron and copper that have an electrical charge,” she said.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: Advanced Farrier System

Brethren ArmamentTeam 1414 Members:
Lindsay Bahureksa, biomedical engineering
Lindsey Conklin, biomedical engineering
Matt Ellison, systems and industrial engineering
Jacob Landsiedel, optical sciences and engineering
Quinn McIntosh, mechanical engineering
Jovan Vance, electrical and computer engineering

Sponsor: Brethren Systems

1414_hoofWhen it comes to equine foot health, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work.

Team 1414 was amazed that methods for shoeing horses and keeping hooves healthy often rely heavily on nonempirical data — for example, observations of how a horse stands.

“Detecting foot maladies in horses and making sure the horses’ shoes fit correctly is still based largely on anecdotal evidence,” said team member and sponsor Quinn McIntosh of Brethren Systems.

The team’s affordable Advanced Farrier System, designed to detect potential ailments during the shoeing of horses — before the horse ever shows signs of disease or lameness — won both the Edmund Optics Perseverance and Recovery Award and the Sargent Aerospace & Defense Voltaire Design Award at Engineering Design Day 2015.

The Advanced Farrier System uses a film that reacts differently to varying amounts of pressure. When a horse steps on the film, differences in color represent pressure points on the hoof and indicate potential problems.

“We have developed a simple, low-cost, user-friendly system for horse owners, veterinarians, farriers and other horse care professionals,” McIntosh said.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

Project Title: Autonomous Mappingece

Team 1412 Members:
Jeremy Hibbs, electrical and computer engineering
Travis Kibler, systems and industrial engineering
Jesse Odle, optical sciences and engineering
Rachel Powers, electrical and computer engineering
Thomas Schucker, electrical and computer engineering
Alex Warren, computer science

Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

1412Team 1412, sponsored by the University of Arizona department of electrical and computer engineering, is creating a quad-copter to map buffelgrass for the Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center, or SABCC.

The rapid spread of buffelgrass is a pressing environmental issue in the Sonoran Desert. Buffelgrass turns the fire-resistant desert into a flammable grassland and threatens to supplant native plants, such as the saguaro cactus and ironwood tree, and destroy habitat for wildlife, including the desert tortoise and mule deer.

“SABCC has volunteers who go out and visually mark and inspect buffelgrass locations. An alternative is to hire a private helicopter crew to take pictures of the grass. The volunteer work is time-consuming and labor-intensive; the helicopter option is expensive. The quad-copter we are building costs less, is safer and easier to use, and requires fewer people,” explained team member Travis Kibler.

“It navigates using GPS way-points, which we upload into the autopilot. The quad-copter autonomously takes off, flies to the way-points, avoiding any obstacles, and continues its mission. Once the images are taken, we upload them into software we are writing and stitch together the images to create a huge image map of the area.”

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: The Firebird UAV Honeywell Logo

Team 1424 Members:
Michael Bramer, mechanical engineering
Fabian De La Pena Montero, electrical and computer engineering
Elizabeth Greene, systems and industrial engineering
Zac Petruska, electrical and computer engineering
Claira Safi, electrical and computer engineering
Kyle Smith, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace

1424Team 1424, sponsored by Honeywell Aerospace, is developing a small tactical unmanned aerial vehicle to help firefighters quickly and efficiently get information about fires. The project builds on the military’s T-Hawk, applying that technology to a drone for commercial use.

“Firefighters have limited information available to them when they first show up at the scene of a fire. They station five crew members around the fire perimeter just to survey the fire itself,” said team member Lizzie Greene.

The drone will help diagnosis a fire with minimum personnel and greatly reduced risk.

“Our UAV will be launched from the fire truck before the team even arrives on the scene,” Greene said.

“The camera on the UAV will give them information such as the size of the fire, where it’s headed and how hot it’s burning. The UAV will also survey for any dangerous gases resulting from the fire.”

Additional design challenges included ensuring the drone could withstand temperatures of 200 degrees Fahrenheit and creating a control panel to help it stabilize in turbulent conditions.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

Title: Robotic Ordnance Neutralizer (RON)raytheon-logo

Team 1415 Members:
Elisa Duarte, systems and industrial engineering
Jeremy Gin, electrical and computer engineering
Jaime Lara Martinez, electrical and computer engineering
Mark Roche, electrical and computer engineering
Cassandra Kammerman, mechanical engineering
Greg Stanford, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

top prize teamTeam 1415, sponsored by Raytheon Missile Systems, is working on a Robotic Ordnance Neutralizer to trigger small, hard-to-find improvised explosive devices — known as “toe-poppers” for their low explosive charge — in the paths of soldiers on patrol.

“When troops traverse urban environments on combat missions, they often come across hidden, pressure-sensitive IEDs that can maim them,” said team member Elisa Duarte. “We are designing an unmanned ground vehicle system to neutralize hidden IEDs by applying a certain pressure to the ground as it moves along ahead of military personnel.”

The team is working on RON’s explosive neutralization mechanism and developing solutions for increasing the unmanned vehicle’s maximum speed from 3 miles per hour to 6 miles per hour. The vehicle is expected to cover a 5-foot-wide path, while still being able to pass through a standard-width doorway, and detonate the explosives from a safe distance of 15 feet.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498
Project Title: Delivery of an Endovascular Device for a Bifurcating Vascular AnatomySDPM_0001_STBL

Team 1429 Members
Andrea Acuna, biomedical engineering
Sean Ashley, optical sciences and engineering
Matthew Davis, biomedical engineering
Matt Kirk, systems and industrial engineering
Marysol Luna, biomedical engineering
Carmelo Moraila, mechanical engineering

Sponsor: Jonathan Vande Geest, director of the UA Soft Tissue Biomechanics Laboratory

winner13Team 1429 is designing, fabricating and testing an endovascular device for the treatment of abdominal aortic aneurysm, known as AAA, which is an enlargement of the lower part of the aorta, a major blood vessel that runs from the heart through the center of the chest and abdomen. Treatments include open surgical repair and endovascular aortic repair, in which a stent graft is placed inside the aorta via a catheter to relieve pressure on the wall of the aorta.

As an alternative to the rigid metal mesh stents used to treat AAA, Jonathan Vande Geest, UA associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering and bioengineering, is working on a polymer that can be sprayed onto a 3-D printed construct taken from a CT scan of the patient’s aorta, which allows for the design of a flexible, patient-specific device.

“Currently, AAA is treated with rigid, metallic stent grafts that may not conform to the aorta of the patient,” Vande Geest said. “This leads to the exclusion of some patients who have an AAA that is anatomically complex and more difficult to treat.”

Although patients with AAA may show no symptoms, rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm can cause life-threatening internal bleeding. At least 13,000 deaths are attributed to AAA rupture in the United States every year.

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

Project Title: Building a Smarter Gridtep_logo

Team 1404 Members:
Jacob Chess, mechanical engineering
Peter Lankisch, electrical and computer engineering
Viviana Llano, optical sciences and engineering
Daniel McLeod, electrical and computer engineering
Alex Moser, electrical and computer engineering
Eric Sahr, systems and industrial engineering

Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power

winner3UA Engineering Design Team 1404 is designing an autonomous aircraft for Tucson Electric Power to inspect transmission lines that handle energy flow from power plants to major substations, ultimately powering customers’ homes and businesses.

The autonomous aircraft will be equipped with multiple sensors to monitor the structural health of the transmission lines and check for “hot spots” caused by bad connections.

“Currently, the transmission lines are inspected by renting a helicopter and sending a crew to fly along the transmission lines, tower by tower,” said team member Alex Moser. “This is very time consuming, inefficient and expensive. Our goal is to provide utilities with a commercial system that is more capable than those they now use.”

University of Arizona, UA Senior Design Program, Senior Design, Engineering 498

SDPM_0012_SENSINTELProject Title: Aerodynamic Modeling, Measurements and Simulation

Team 1441 Members:
Christopher Drawert, aerospace engineering
Steven Goodyke, mechanical engineering
Rolland Prempeh, aerospace engineering
Daniel Simmons, mechanical engineering
Austin Taylor, systems and industrial engineering

Sponsor: Sensintel

student_post_sensitel1Team 1441 is expanding the capabilities of the wind tunnel in the University of Arizona’s aerospace and mechanical engineering department.

“We’re building a mount to allow a UAV to turn 90 degrees in the tunnel, keeping the neutral point of the aircraft in the center of the wind tunnel and minimizing interference effects on the edges of the plane,” said team member Daniel Simmons. “We transformed what was a simulation design into a more mechanical design using a five-component balance to get six degrees of freedom.”

Sensintel research scientist and 2013 UA alumnus Aaron Farber has been following the team’s progress.

“What these guys are doing — taking a five-scale balance and turning it into a six-degree balance — is remarkable. This piece of hardware will hopefully be able to be used by many teams and many research projects to come in the new AME wind tunnel,” he said. “You read a book, you do the math problems — it only gets you so far. This is a great opportunity to get the students into a real-world experience where they’re able to understand what all their class and lab work has been going toward.”

Added team member Christopher Drawert, “It’s nice to work with other engineers you haven’t worked with before. This is going to be really useful when we enter the workforce.”