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Senior Capstone Design

Senior Capstone Design Video Playlist

The Senior Capstone Design Program in Mechanical Engineering builds on our lab-based, hands-on curriculum to provide students with “their first job,” a project supplied by companies and entrepreneurs. These clients benefit from having a student team address their dynamic goals and tight budgets, and provide a fresh perspective.

Our Senior Capstone Design teams are formed based on student background, interests, and strengths. Student teams are advised by an eight-person advisory team, the members of which are specially selected for their technical expertise and for their proven ability to guide students through solving real-world, applied problems.

The projects span two semesters, beginning with the development of a project plan, whereby students define end-user needs, client needs, design objectives and constraints, and metrics for success. Proceeding through concept generation and selection, and then through the system- and component-level design stages, each team ultimately produces a working prototype that is tested and refined to meet the project objectives. Projects commence in late August and early January.

 


Examples of 2014 Projects      View all 2014 Projects

Center Beam Railcar Repurpose Design

Center Beam Railcar Repurpose Design

Team Members

Jocelyn Tervo, Riley Peterson, Becky Schlak,
William Melcher, Alec Bolthouse, and Nathaniel
Scheetz, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

NU-Rail and Michigan Tech Rail Transportation
Program

Project Overview

There are currently thousands of idle center beam railcars being stored across the United States. These railcars were once heavily used for carrying dimensional lumber, but after the housing industry crashed they were not fully utilized. Our team has been tasked with the objective to create a conversion design that will enable the use of these idle railcars in a growing industry, specifically the oil industry. We must create a conversion design with multiple constraints and objectives in mind.

[ View more Senior Design projects in Flickr ]

Dust Removal System for ME-EM Sixth Floor Woodshop

Dust Removal System for ME-EM Sixth Floor Woodshop

Team Members

Gregory Hardy, Zachary Schneider, Ritik Singh,
Bradley Johnson, Colin Lay, and Steven Clark,
Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Kevin Johnson, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Department of Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Project Overview

Our team has been tasked to redesign the ventilation system for the sixth floor woodshop in the Department of Mechanical Engineering- Engineering Mechanics (ME-EM) R.L. Smith building. Currently, the system does not effectively capture and remove dust particles. The ventilation system consists of a fan connected to a series of ductwork leading to several stationary power tools. The fan draws air through duct branches while the machines are under operation to capture the wood dust. The system experiences flow losses, is prone to clogging, and is a potential safety hazard. It has not been tested to determine the proper pump size or confirm that the required flow rate for the machinery is met..

[ View more Senior Design projects in Flickr ]

Limited Edition RAM TruckTailgate—Structure

Limited Edition RAM Truck Tailgate—Structure

Team Members

Christian Vreeland, Thomas Gruber, Evan
Rosemore, and Taylor Erva, Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

Gregory Odegard, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Chrysler Group LLC

Project Overview

Our team worked in collaboration with another Senior Design team to develop a special edition lightweight carbon fiber tailgate for use in the next generation RAM 1500 for Chrysler Group LLC. The prototype tailgate was expected to reduce current production weight by 25 percent while maintaining loading integrity and integrating a custom selling feature.

[ View more Senior Design projects in Flickr ]

[ View more Senior Design projects 0n YouTube ]

Air Force Research Laboratory Challenge: Heavy Lift System

Air Force Research Laboratory Challenge: Heavy Lift System

Team Members

Timothy Cencer, John Groen, Andrew Janczy,
Corey McKenzie, and Steven Saliga,
Mechanical Engineering

Advisor

James DeClerck and William Endres, Mechanical
Engineering-Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL)

Project Overview

The challenge issued by the Air Force Research Laboratory was to create a lift system to rescue entrapped soldiers from damaged vehicles. The system needed to be capable of safely lifting a 55,000-pound vehicle up two feet while being small/light enough to be carried and operated by one person. The solution developed is a hydraulic spreader that optimizes size, weight, and power unlike anything currently on the market.

[ View more Senior Design projects in Flickr ]

Inline Polymer Pellet Crystallization System

Inline Polymer Pellet Crystallization System

Team Members

Ethan Archambault, Collin Brown, Mark Nettell,
Zhehao Ren, and Brent Thoune, Mechanical
Engineering

Advisor

Gregory Odegard, Mechanical Engineering-
Engineering Mechanics

Sponsor

Advanced Blending Solutions

Project Overview

Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is one of the most commonly used materials for food packaging and beverage containers. The demand for PET is steadily growing and as the demand increases, so does the amount of recyclable material to be processed. One step in the recycling process of PET is to crystallize the material before it reaches the drying stage. Current market solutions for crystallizing PET are expensive to operate and are an inefficient use of space. Advanced Blending Solutions tasked our team with designing, prototyping, and testing a PET crystallizer capable of continuous crystallization of PET.

[ View more Senior Design projects in Flickr ]