Each semester mechanical engineering seniors are given a real world problem to solve in the MAE 416 Capstone Design course, and they showcase their solutions during Senior Design Day. This semester long project is designed to prepare students for the workplace through hands-on experience in the design and prototyping of real world solutions to industry sponsored projects. The event starts in the morning with formal presentations where each team outlines their design process, describes the proposed device, and advocates for how their work has satisfied the project goals and constraints.
This semester’s projects were provided by our sponsors, DENSO, Hendrick Motorsports, Klaussner Home Furnishings, Pentair and Susie Jones in collaboration with Senus and the City of Raleigh. The students participating for DENSO were challenged with the task of creating a fan connector coolant assembly. Hendrick Motorsports challenged students to find a way to automatically sort bolts that are part of an engine assembly packet. Klaussner Furnishings asked students to create an IKEA-like chair that could be modular and shipped vis UPS. Lastly, Susie Jones recently experienced issues with a running toilet that she was unaware of until her monthly bill appeared in the mail. So, she along with Senus and the City of Raleigh, challenged students to create something that could detect a running water issue and alert the owner. Each sponsor evaluated numerous unique team solutions to their project. The project advisors were Dr. Tran Chau, Dr. Gracious Ngaile, Dr. Ewan Pritchard and Dr. Mohammed Zikry. Our senior design shop manager, Gary Lofton, worked tirelessly to assist the students in safely learning the shop fabrication techniques necessary to successfully build their machines.
After presentations are complete, everyone breaks for the annual Burger Bash lunch provided by ASME. Then it’s right back to the action as the student groups demonstrate the designs for their sponsor. The top three teams for each project are recognized by the sponsors with certificates and a monetary award.