Engineering seniors show off real-world design solutions April 25 at Design Day

Engineering seniors have spent two semesters tackling design challenges from sponsors with real design needs.

The results of their design projects will be featured at Design Day 2016, an annual School of Engineering event, Monday, April 25, 4-6 p.m. in the Student Life Center.

Rendering of a Modern Prairie zero energy home at Sterling Ranch in Colorado.

Corporate sponsors this year include DENSO, Nissan North America, Metova, Quality Manufacturing Systems and Sterling Ranch Development Company. Other sponsors include NASA, NSF, a number of Vanderbilt University Medical Center departments and several area engineering firms.

In addition to a change in venue from Featheringill Hall to the Student Life Center, this year Dean Philippe Fauchet will present Dean’s Awards. Returning to present the 2016 Innovation Award is a representative from AT&T.

More than 70 projects by interdisciplinary teams in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering will be displayed throughout the large SLC ballroom.

Cynthia Paschal

“Senior design courses provide students with experience working on real-world projects that involve design constraints, budgets, reviews and deadlines. Students learn about professionalism, licensing, ethics, entrepreneurship and the day-to-day implications of intellectual property,” said Associate Dean Cynthia Paschal, who also serves as senior design coordinator. “By the end of the academic year, the teams produce a prototype, process design, or virtual demonstration.  Design Day is their showcase.”

Among projects on display April 25 are:

  • A number of energy projects for Sterling Ranch, a sustainable community currently under construction a few miles south of Denver.
  • A hearing aid FM device, fibrotic liver ultrasound-based imaging diagnostic system, a device for treating diabetic foot ulcers, and a medical rounds communication system.
  • A photovoltaic water heating system, autonomous utility robot and several interesting and innovative apps.
  • A Baja off-road vehicle, a Karakuri engine kit cart, an exhaust gas recovery device, and a suborbital rocket.

Students will install their presentations from 2-4 p.m. Several jurors will review the projects.

A suborbital rocket with an open payload window.

The work done in design is the intellectual property of the participating companies, which means legal negotiations are unnecessary. This allows collaboration with participating companies and students gain real-world experience. Teams meet with their clients to define the challenge, create a strategy, build a timeline, assign responsibilities, set deadlines and manage customer relations.

The 2015-2016 faculty advisers in electrical engineering and computer science are Julie A. Adams, Ralph Bruce, Yevgeniy Vorobeychik and Jules White; mechanical engineering, Robert Webster III and Thomas Withrow; biomedical engineering, Matthew Walker III;  chemical and biomolecular engineering, Russell Dunn and Scott Guelcher; civil and environmental engineering, Sanjiv Gokhale and Lori Troxel.

Brenda Ellis, (615) 343-6314
Twitter @VUEngineering