Top Senior Design Projects

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Lee College of Engineering seniors presented their year-long senior projects at the college’s annual Senior Design Exposition on May 3, 2012. Out of the 60 completed student projects on display, three were chosen as being the best.

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The top project was the Pedestrian Safety Alert System sponsored by Bosch Engineering. Mechanical engineering team members Richard Sanderson and Yousef Bukhamsin developed a warning system to be fitted on hybrid and electric vehicles that emits warning sounds to pedestrians. The system has a microprocessor that reads signals from the vehicle’s Controller Area Network, and then activates a sound when the vehicle is going slower than 20 mph and is in electric mode. For their work, the team won $500 and the Senior Design William F. Heybruck Award. The Heybruck Award is named for Senior Design Director Dr. William Heybruck, who is retiring in August 2012.

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The second place project and winner of $300 was the Pipe-Traversing Robot. The team of Anthony Harris, Jacob Davis, Jessica Meeks and Tracie Monfort developed a robot that can move through and clean out dryer vent ductwork. The robot combines mechanical, electrical and computer components, and has several actuators and sensors to relay information back to a tele-operator.

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The third place project was the Motor Test Fixture with Variable Loads project sponsored by Baldor Electric Company. The team of Joshua Bibey, Joel Keller, and Bryan Walker developed a fixture that applies a continuous external load on motors with spherical or cylindrical roller bearings. The test fixture is used to test small motors. Motors are becoming increasingly smaller, which creates new challenges as performance requirements for bearing life increase and lower vibration levels are expected by the users. The team won $100 for its third-place performance.

Other projects that were on display at the Expo included:

Aluminum Can/Plastic Bottle Recycler – This project featured a pair of plastic bottle and aluminum can recycling machines implemented as arcade style games.

Beach Wheelchair – A wheelchair that is manually pushed and will not corrode in sand and saltwater.

The chair incorporates an innovative locking-tilt mechanism that allows the user to recline back and relieve pressure on the spine.

Self-Burying Asteroid Anchor – An anchoring system that will allow NASA probes to attach to asteroids composed of fine regolith, ice and gas.

Formula SAE Car – A designed-and-built scaled-down Formula One race car that will race in the annual Society of Automotive Engineers annual competition.

Energy Education Project – Sponsored by AREVA, the team designed and built a portable classroom display that demonstrates existing power generation technologies through hands-on and visual education technologies.

Numerous other energy projects included:

– A model that demonstrates the workings of a modern nuclear power plant for Westinghouse.

– Cooling water intake structure modifications for Duke Energy.

– A renewable micro-source energy source for Duke Energy.

– A tidal generator for Shaw Group.

– Feedwater heater rigging and removal for Shaw Group.

– A winding drum hanger for Siemens.

– A turbine cover fixture for Southern Company.

– A biomass renewable energy system for Metso Power.

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Providing students with an innovative, hands-on learning experience, the Industrial Senior Design Program at UNC Charlotte is educating engineering students, supporting industry partners and benefiting the State of North Carolina. The program teaches students how to apply their years of math, science, and engineering knowledge to solve the unique problems presented by many progressive North Carolina companies. The William States Lee College of Engineering encourages multi-disciplinary projects that involve engineering and technology solutions in the disciplines of mechanical, electrical, computer, systems, environmental and civil engineering.