Team "Pump It Up" Wins Best Overall Project at Capstone Expo

April 26, 2017

Held Tuesday night at the McCamish Pavillion, Georgia Tech’s Spring 2017 Capstone Design Expo, the largest expo to date, showcased the inventions of 242 teams from 11 schools and three colleges.

1,222 graduating seniors from multiple disciplines, including  seven engineering schools, architecture, industrial design, and public policy worked in either mono- or interdisciplinary teams on industry or campus created projects to develop various prototypes for real-world applications. The teams presented their innovations to industry reps, faculty, staff and students and competed for best project from their major and to win an overall prize of $3,000. 

The best overall project, as determined by judges’ scores, went to “Pump It Up” for Kracken, a water sampling system to be deployed under the Antarctic ice. “Pump It Up”, made up of mechanical engineering students Christian Hofstetter, Sam Youngdale, Manisha Khanal, and Joshua Lutz worked with sponsors Dr. Mick West and Dr. Britney Schmidt to design a water sampling system for a mid-sized autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) named IceFin. Currently, there are no AUV-fitted water sampling systems capable of withstanding the extreme cold and pressure of the water under Antarctica.

“The Kracken Water Sampling System was an idea given to us by a Georgia Tech research team who has an underwater autonomous vehicle called IceFin. IceFin is deployed under Antarctic ice but has no physical interaction with the environment. One way to do that is to collect water samples but there are no commercial products out there for them to use so they needed to leverage new minds to really think of a completely ground-up, new idea for a sampling system,” said team member Joshua Lutz.

The teams biggest challenge? “I think right off the bat the biggest, daunting challenge was looking at the extremely constrained design problem,” explains Lutz, “There was deep pressures, extremely cold and it had to fit inside this tiny, tiny vehicle but still have the huge capability that extremely large systems implement.

Spring 2017 Capstone Design Expo Winners:

Best Overall

Pump It Up: Kracken (Mechanical Engineering)

Christian Hofstetter

Sam Youngdale

Manisha Khanal

Joshua Lutz


Discipline Awards:

Aerospace Engeering

Pelican: Boeing AerosPACE Design-Build-Fly Project

Matt Gilmartin

Kayleigh Lane

Salah Tarazi



River Leap: Soaring River Gardens

Cameron Bradberry

Anthony Galvan

Biomedical Engineering

PediaTRACH: Endotracheal Tube Detector

Nasya Paul

Joanna Gochuico

Dhanushka Vitharana

Kara Hardin


Civil & Environmental Engineering

SEVEN Engineering: Town Center OCC

Kemeria Abdella

Sharani White

Chin Yung Wong

Ming Yang


Electrical & Computer Engineering

Medcap: Medcap

Michael Balourdas

Miheer Bavare

Matt Allen

Nicold Barcori

Tyler Nguyen

Raj Patel


Industrial and Systems Engineering - Tie

CDC Contact Tracing: Design of New Contact Tracing Protocol

Leah Patterson

Chungjae Lee

Suphaphat Petlerkwong

Kevi Desprez

Yuntong Zhu

Jason Bermudez

Alexander Kehres


Team 1-Equifax: Equifax Resource Allocation

Yeji Lee

Jihwan Oh

Anju Suresh

Shivum Agrawal

Srida Saraogi

Maria Auslander

Divya Achtani


Industrial Design & Mechanical Design

Flyover: Design a Remote Autonomous Teaming Workstation

Victor Padron

Shrinka Roy

Sam Harvey

Hareen Godthi

Elizabeth Jarecki

Alexandra Flohr



The X-Fives: X-Ray Machine Positioning Robotic Arm

Minh Tran (ME)

Haoli Du (BME)

Quynh Tran (ME)

Aman Bedi (ME)

Dhara Patel (BME)


Materials Science and Engineering

Desiigners: Thermomechanical Failure of Hard Court Uniforms

Keshav Swarup

Michael Davidson

Ryan Dwyer

Shawn Gregory

Christopher Lo


Mechanical Engineering

The Drag Reducers: Formula SAE Drag Reduction System

Jarrett Schalch

Jacob Speed

Justin Shaulis

Trevor Hyatt

Lee Selbach


Nuclear and Radiological Engineering

Lead Fast Reactor Core Analysis: Demonstration Lead Fast Reactor – Change of Core Dimensions on Cycle Length and Reactivity

Kham Ho

Vincent Paglioni

Darrell Lewis, Jr.

Daniel Vizoso


Public Policy

Sidewalk Scholars: Safe Routes to School Program Analysis

Reagan ZJohnson

Maggie Kelley

A big thank you goes out to the many Capstone Design Expo sponsors who gave generously, both monetarily and in time, to senior project design teams. While students received hands-on experience creating solutions to industry challenges, sponsors were provided with answers to real-world problems.

Photo Gallery

(Click to launch Flickr website)


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