Engineering seniors tackle real-world design challenges
Engineering seniors have spent up to two semesters tackling design challenges from actual corporations with real design needs. Senior design courses provide students with experience by working on projects that involve budgets, reviews and deadlines. Students learn about the principles of design, professionalism, licensing, how ethics affect engineering decisions, entrepreneurship and the day-to-day implications of intellectual property.
The results of their design projects will be featured at Senior Design Day 2010, an annual event at the School of Engineering, set for Tuesday, April 27, from 3-5 p.m. in Featheringill Hall. Sponsors this year include Nissan, Tennessee Valley Authority, Acoustic MedSystems, Gresham Smith & Partners, Lexmark, Inc., Max-Mobility, The Military Systems Group and others.
The capstone courses allow students to think about engineering design in an interdisciplinary way and provides a union from which interdisciplinary activities can evolve. More than 60 projects by interdisciplinary teams in biomedical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering and computer science, engineering management and mechanical engineering will be displayed throughout the first floor of Featheringill Hall.
As their projects take form, student teams keep in touch with their industry and faculty advisors, hold meetings, write formal documentation and make presentations on their work. By the end of the year the teams produce a prototype or virtual demonstration of their solution. Students will install their presentations from 3-5 p.m. Several juries will review the projects during the final two hours.
The work done in SDD 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.