Capstone Senior Design Project Selections from Recent Years

Honorable Mention 2016 Design Expo Award Winner
Traveling Wave Fault Location

Team Members

Kevin Schoenknecht, Jacob Marshall, and Troy Johnston, Electrical Engineering


John Lukowski, Electrical and Computer Engineering


American Transmission Co. (ATC)

Project Overview

Our goal is to use travelling wave fault location technology to accurately predict where a fault has occurred on an ATC transmission line. The SEL-411L relay is capable of recording times when traveling waves, which are created by a fault, arrive at the relay. This should allow ATC to identify the causes of faults faster, resulting in reduced outage times and shorter, more cost-effective investigations. We needed to design a panel to store the SEL-411L relay and its related components. We also worked on developing a procedure for the implementation and use of the panel.

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System to Measure the Effectiveness of a Rail Shunt

Team Members: Samuel Scott, Alexander Pate, Frank BeFay, and Sean Massey, Electrical Engineering
Advisor: Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer
Sponsors: Union Pacific Railroad, Michigan Tech Rail
Transportation Program, National University Rail
Center (NURail))

Project Overview:
Our objective is to develop a system to measure the effectiveness of a rail shunt. Signalmen utilize rail shunts to test functionality of rail systems and calibrate signal equipment. The new system will provide immediate feedback and inform the signalmen when a good shunt is achieved. Railroads use different signals flowing through them to detect existing trains. Rail shunts are used to simulate a train so that an actual train doesn’t enter the area being repaired or calibrated. By retrofitting  a rail shunt using custom integrated circuitry and a micro-controller, we’ve developed a tool that not only effectively shunts the line, but also indicates when a good connection has been established.

Wireless Data Acquisition and Signal Processing Using Mobile Devices (Fishfinder)

Team Members

Yixiong (Elliot) Tang, Brian Vandevoorde, and Shane
Clifford, Electrical Engineering; Kyle Krueger and
Josh Frankovich, Computer Engineering


Duane Bucheger, Electrical and Computer


ZTA Technologies LLC

Project Overview

Our team determined the feasibility of creating a prototype of a wireless mobile fishfinder. The unit will look to use a commercially available sonar transducer and transmit the signal wirelessly to a smartphone to be processed.

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