Thursday, May 1, 2014
MechE Senior Capstone Design Event Showcases Department's 'Maker Culture'
On May 6, 2014, Mechanical Engineering Seniors will showcase their product designs at the Design Expo, in the University Center's Rangos Hall from 10:00am to 1:30pm.
This semester's Senior Design course (24-441) is a larger-than-usual event, with twice the number of student teams presenting their prototypes than in the Fall. Associate Professors Levent Burak Kara and Jeremy Michalek taught a total of 20 student teams, made up of 4-5 students per team, to experience the entire design process including: problem identification, market, technology and patent research, design requirement identification, conceptualization, detailed engineering analysis and fabrication. "There is a strong emphasis on building fully functional prototypes that appropriately address the problem and requirements identified early in the process," says Kara.
"Students began by studying an existing product -- watching people use it, dissecting it, and analyzing it for manufacturability, safety, and environmental impact. Each team then generated new ideas, including improvements to old products as well as new inventions, and they went through several iterations of design, analysis, prototyping, and testing to come up with the designs that they will show off at the Design Expo," says Michalek of his section of the course.
The event is open to the public, and the CMU community is encouraged to attend the Design Expo to give MechE Seniors feedback on the viability of their products.
In addition, visitors to the event are asked to vote on their favorite designs in several categories, for which the student teams will recieve awards at the conclusion of the event.