Senior Engineering Design Clinic Presents Projects – Newsroom


Students at St. Thomas School of Engineering had the opportunity during what was essentially a “show and tell” to reveal the mid-year progress of their Senior Design Clinic projects to family, friends, and family. peers and teachers.

During the December showcase and banquet held at the Facilities and Design Center, students from around half a dozen multidisciplinary teams showcased the designs they developed in partnership with sponsors from the industry, non-profit organizations and community partners.

A team, which continued work started with seniors from the previous academic year, unveiled the patented SAF-T VEST proof of concept and the first generation prototype of Davenport SAF-T Systems. The body-worn vest is designed to deploy airbags to provide protection in the event of a forward fall. The prototype currently has an airbag, but the most advanced wearable technology envisioned by the founders will include an array of airbags that will provide protection from hip injuries to the head, regardless of the user’s fall direction. .

Watch the SAF-T vest in action!

“It’s exciting to work on a real engineering project to help others,” said Rahaf Bahajry, mechanical engineering student and member of this year’s SAF-T VEST team.

Mechanical engineering student Adam Riechert said his team’s senior design project “challenged me and my group to think outside the box and find our own unique solution to a problem.”

His team is working with Medtronic on a device for testing materials for medical devices. “I think this project is important because it will help Medtronic develop medical devices that will change people’s lives,” he said. “Being able to characterize and test the materials that will be implanted in the body is crucial to developing a safe and effective product. “

Timara Williams, also a mechanical engineering student, is working with her team on an inexpensive, mobile hydroponics system using nutrient film (NFT) technique that will be used by the nonprofit Seeds Feeds to help people grow easily. vegetables and other plants. inside.

To minimize crop loss, their design takes into account pest and disease management and monitors nutrients in the water for optimal growth. The materials should be food safe and provide a means of disassembly and disinfection. Design cables for the system should be modular in nature, using readily available components that are easily assembled by volunteers who do not have carpentry or plumbing skills. The team is also designing components that should be able to switch easily from one small mobile farm to another.

“The hydroponic system will be used to create products that will nourish the Minneapolis community while being a learning experience for members of the community who wish to have their own system in their home,” said Williams. “It changes the way people will view growing plants and gives families the opportunity to get fresh produce all year round.” It is also an efficient, affordable and easy to assemble system.

Allanah Wahlquist and his team have redesigned a product called the rear hull that is used in jet engine test beds around the world. “It was important for our team to find a solution that would work not only as a replacement for the part itself, but also in conjunction with the current versions of the connector back shell. “

The team were able to make a back cover similar to the previous product, but at a more economical price.

The Senior Design Clinic showcase also gave students the opportunity to practice describing and demonstrating their projects, but with an audience in their comfort zone of family and friends before their final spring demo semester in front of judges and industry professionals.

The School of Engineering expects student outcomes for the two-semester synthesis course to include networking with organizations and industry professionals, hands-on experience throughout the design cycle, the confidence that comes with real experience, and sometimes even job postings, or their names included on patents.

Wahlquist added that the course also helps teach students how to manage their time as well as time spent working as a team. “It was certainly a challenge to get used to the structure of SDC compared to other courses, but I found the Senior Design Clinic to be more similar to my internship experience than other courses. I also think the St. Thomas School of Engineering has done a great job preparing students for senior design and helping us through the process.


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