Fall Design Review Showcases Senior Design Projects

water jet cart testingAround 860 people attended the 2013 Fall Design Review, including students, faculty, staff, alumni and industry representatives. There were 80 student teams showing work, and about a dozen industry representatives joined the faculty to provide feedback and judge the projects.

The fall design review is the first chance for engineering senior students to present their design project goals to a wider audience. Ideas ranged from a portable DNA extractor and a cellphone microscope to an unmanned aerial vehicle, a magnetic tweezers to move stem cells in the lab and a robotic arm attachment for a wheelchair, among many others.

“This is a great experience for all of our students to show their design plans in the fall quarter,” says Professor Michael McCarthy. “I encourage everyone to return for the Winter Design Review in March to see how these projects progress."

During this event, students from the civil engineering fluid mechanics course tested out their water jet carts – a “cart”Sandman & Co. win hovercraft race propelled by a jet of water from a pressure tank. And student teams from the freshman experiential learning course raced their hovercrafts. Both of these courses are hands-on engineering experiences, giving students the opportunity to design, build and test a multidisciplinary project. Seven teams participated in the hovercraft competition; Team Sandman and Company won.

This year’s judges, some retired, came from U.S. Hybrid Corporation, Foster Wheeler USA Corporation, Boeing, General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Environ Corporation, Mars Air Systems, Motivo EProfessor Fadi Kurdahi talks with studentngineering, the Orange County Engineering Council and the California Department of Transportation.

Many of the judges have been participating in this event for years. C.T. Bathala, a first time judge from the California Department of Transportation, said he was surprised at the large number of projects. “They are all at various levels of sophistication, some are only in the initial stages, but many are very interesting.”

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