NNU News

Engineering student research teams at NNU

August 12, 2016

With seven design teams externally funded by organizations such as NASA, ASI, and Micron, students in the NNU Department of Engineering and Physics have many opportunities to gain hands-on experience. Whether they're designing an autonomous robot to perform time-intensive farm tasks or a cube-shaped satellite to be deployed into Earth’s orbit directly from the International Space Station, NNU students can gain invaluable experience in their field of study. Below are just a few projects our students have been working on.

3D print metal casting

Drs. Stutz & Bulanon
Dr. John Stutz is leading this project to develop a new 3D printer-based metal casting technology called “rapid casting,” which can be used to produce complex 3D metal parts using 3D solid model CAD file to produce a 3D printed plastic prototype as the starting point. These ABS plastic parts are then used as a sacrificial mold in “investment casting,” where molten metal vaporizes this plastic mold embedded in sand and fills the resulting void, replicating its detailed 3D shape in the metal casting. This results in cast metal parts with high resolution and surface detail with complex geometries that would otherwise be impossible to machine on a CNC mill.

2016 Liberia mission project

Dr. Stutz in cooperation with Dr. Eric Kellerer of the NNU Doceo Center
This team worked to provide a 1 kW bicycle-powered generator for laptop and phone recharging to support educational work in Liberia, Africa. In September 2015, Dr. Kellerer and a group of educators traveled 200 miles south of Liberia’s capital city, Monrovia, to help transform education there. The group delivered more than 100 laptops, 600 books and wireless servers to accelerate learning in Liberia. Nearly 600 students in eight different schools are primarily learning math through Khan Academy, a free, educational website. In May 2016, Dr. Stutz and three NNU engineering seniors joined Dr. Kellerer in returning to Liberia to provide schools with more laptop computers and the charging station to support these devices.

Vex Robotics

Dr. Griffin
The NNU Vex Robotics Team was created in 2012 to provide a team-based, hands-on design experience for NNU students and foster their interest in STEM related careers. It is an extracurricular, student-led organization dedicated to education through the real-world application of robotics. Each year the team competes in competitions at Utah State University and Arizona State University. Last year the team participated in the VEX University (VEX U) Competition at Arizona State University in early March. The team is led by students Richard Grindstaff and Cole Logemann, and also includes team members Alex Drinnon and Brandon Braun.

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