Story by Ben Wright, Photos by Candler Hobbs
Capstone Design Expo isn't your average science fair. This year's participants, the bulk of whom are about to graduate, came up with projects that tackled real needs - increasing the efficiency of businesses, designing life-altering medical products, or developing products that could disrupt commercial markets. The team that earned the best overall project award, Need A Hand, developed better 3D printed prosthetic limbs for Project Daniel and Not Impossible Labs, a charity that supplies prosthetics to some of the 50,000 amputees who have been maimed during the brutal war in Sudan. They were so inspired by the project that they plan to continue tweaking their designs to send files for even better limbs to Sudan.
"They told us their design wasn't as good as they wanted it to be," explained Brian Jo, one of the five mechanical engineers who comprised the team."They wanted it to be more useful, more powerful, and more versatile. They told us to make a better design. Using the same tools that they had, and adding a little bit more onto that, we decided to make a different design. We made it cheaper, more efficient, and more powerful. It was difficult, because over there in Sudan they have limited tools. Using what we had, we created a design able to achieve all of the goals.
"We're hoping that while Not Impossible Labs is in Sudan, we can continue to send them designs as we develop them. There's still room for improvement."
Another winner was Team Cold Cap, an interdisciplinary team made up of mechanical and biomedical engineering students who developed a chilled apparatus for chemotherapy patients to wear that would prevent them from losing their hair during cancer treatments, boosting the morale of people battling the disease. According to team member Alexandra Richardson they have three provisional patents filed and are exploring options to take the Cold Cap to market.
Other teams were sponsored by local or national companies. A group of ISyE students worked with Orpheus Brewing in Atlanta, identifying a bottleneck in their brewing process and allowing them to increase production by 25 percent at no extra cost. Coca-Cola, which was the premier sponsor of Capstone, sponsored several teams, including one that developed a door-less cooler shown to increase sales and another that found ways to improve their weekly shipping forecast.
Skyveillance, which was made of electrical and computer engineering majors, built an integrated network of antennas to detect signals transmitted by drones - a valuable tool as government agencies seek ways to regulate drone activity in restricted airspace.
Showing that you don't have to be bound by your discipline, a group of mechanical engineering students with virtually no aerospace experience took on the challenge of fabricating, mounting and cabling hardware and conducting thermal/structural analysis for the RECONSO Cubesat, which is being built at Georgia Tech and has a launch date in 2017.
Overall, 113 teams from five schools (biomedical engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial design, industrial and systems engineering, and mechanical engineering) participated in this semester's design expo, capping off their undergraduate careers in style. With commencement quickly approaching, many have already lined up jobs with companies like Delta, The Home Depot, Procter & Gamble, and St. Jude Medical. Others will move on to graduate school or look for ways to turn their projects into startup companies, like CardiacConnect, a biomedical team that automatically earned a slot in the 2016 InVenture Prize competition.
2015 Fall Capstone Design Expo Winners
Need A Hand: Project Daniel
- Jimmy Leong (Mechanical Engineering)
- Brian Jo (Mechanical Engineering)
- Viet Phi Phan (Mechanical Engineering)
- Tiffany Choo (Mechanical Engineering)
- Harrison Phung (Mechanical Engineering)
Cold And Bold: Chemotherapy Cold Cap
- Kyla Merson (Biomedical Engineering)
- Curry Isiminger (Mechanical Engineering)
- Ben Braun (Mechanical Engineering)
- Alexandra Richardson (Biomedical Engineering)
Right On Track: CSX Lag Screw Installation
- David MacPherson (Mechanical Engineering)
- Allison Smedberg (Mechanical Engineering)
- Paul Cundey (Mechanical Engineering)
- Bradley Smith (Mechanical Engineering)
- Adam Erwood (Mechanical Engineering)
- Peter Sorenson (Mechanical Engineering)
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Fret-Master 5000: MIDI Smart Guitar
- Noah Luskey (Electrical Engineering)
- Patrick Panuski (Electrical Engineering)
- Aishwarye Chauhan (Computer Engineering)
- Patrick Doyle (Electrical Engineering)
- Devon Rogers (Electrical Engineering)
JAVAM: Human and Cargo Access for the Elderly/HMI Study
- Andrew Edge (Mechanical Engineering)
- Meghana Melkote (Industrial Design)
- Jocelyn Yao (Industrial Design)
- Andriy Kyrychenko (Mechanical Engineering)
- Viya Jhaveri (Mechanical Engineering)
- Sudarsan Pranatharthikaran (Biomedical Engineering)
- Ankit Raghuram (Biomedical Engineering)
- Siddhant Chawla (Biomedical Engineering)
- Suhaas Anbazhakan (Biomedical Engineering)
- Young Kyoung Kim (Biomedical Engineering)
- Catherine Gu (Biomedical Engineering)
Industrial and Systems Engineering
RaceTrac Petroleum: Supply & Distribution
- Julie Deng (Industrial Engineering)
- Justin Haffad (Industrial Engineering)
- Matthew Petersen (Industrial Engineering)
- Xiaoxin Yu (Industrial Engineering)
- Anubhav Jain (Industrial Engineering)
- Anthony Graziano (Industrial Engineering)
- Vignesh Ramesh (Industrial Engineering)