From spaceflight hardware to a solar energy array, dozens of senior design projects will be on display from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, April 27, in The University of Toledo’s Nitschke Auditorium.
Businesses, industries and federal agencies sponsor the projects required for graduating seniors in the UT College of Engineering.A design team made up of four students in the UT Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering traveled last week to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California to present to NASA engineers the prototype for their senior design project, a deployable “wrap-rib” space structure to be used with a space telescope for exoplanet astronomy.
“We received positive feedback, and the Jet Propulsion Lab wants to keep pushing forward with the collaboration,” said Dr. Brian Trease, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.
Another senior design team spent the semester working with UT Facilities and Construction on conceptual planning and logistics for a possible new 400-kilowatt solar array on Health Science Campus using $192,000 worth of Series 5 modules donated from First Solar. The team estimates a $500,000 savings in electricity costs over the 25-year life of the system. The team is scheduled to present its work at First Solar next week.
“This sustainability project is a hands-on opportunity to prepare students to be practicing engineers and creative problem solvers,” Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities, said. “The engineering students did a great job identifying a location, preparing construction engineering drawings, and analyzing the cost.”
The free, public exposition showcases projects created by more than 250 graduating seniors from the departments of Bioengineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering Technology; and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.
Projects are the required senior design capstone project where students form business-consulting units to develop a solution for a client’s technical or business challenge.
Several projects over the last few years have gone on to become patented.