Senior engineering teams design projects for local organizations
NNU seeks not only to educate future engineers, but to equip them to make a difference in the world. One component of the graduation requirements for NNU engineering students is a team senior design project. These projects are delivered to client organizations or companies, which gives the students the opportunity to design solutions to meet real business or humanitarian needs.
This year’s seniors have been a part of three unique projects: a wind power generation system, a flexible electronics system, and a foot health biomonitor. Teams presented their work to their clients and the public at the annual Engineering Senior Design Expo on Thursday, April 21.
The wind power team, known as the Current Converters, is composed of Danielle Kelly (Kuna, Idaho), Chase Liljegren (Nampa, Idaho), Ricky Munoz (Caldwell, Idaho) and Heather Skovgard (Kuna, Idaho). This team designed a 1-kilowatt wind power generation system that is easy to use, maintain and build. This project is designed for people in remote areas without a reliable power source. The design utilizes salvage parts such as, 55-gallon drums, a truck alternator, a bike wheel and various other scrapped materials that can be found in third world countries.
Current Converters developed an initial prototype for the Nampa wind conditions but plans on improving and refining the design for implementation in Liberia, Africa. Team members Danielle Kelly and Heather Skovgard will be traveling to Liberia in May with Professors John Stutz and Eric Kellerer to deliver educational initiatives there through the NNU Doceō Center, Innovative Education Liberia (www.IELiberia.org) and The Khan Academy.
The flexible electronics team, named RockSat-X, is comprised of Braden Grim (Melba, Idaho), Mitch Kamstra (Spokane, Wash.) and Jameson Krueger (Star, Idaho). In August, their design will test flexible RFID (Radio frequency identification) sensors and ADCs (Analog to Digital Converters), made by Boise companies PakSense and American Semiconductor Inc., in space on a NASA sounding rocket to be launched from NASA Wallops on the Virginia coast. During the flight, their design will be fully exposed to space conditions in order to assess functionality and durability in the harsh environment. Team member Jameson Krueger appreciated his time working on this project saying, “RockSat-X has been a great opportunity to get actual engineering experience in the aerospace industry. This experience will be extremely valuable as we graduate and move into our future careers.”
The foot health biomonitor team, named SoleSense, is led by Erik Anderson (Boise, Idaho) and Lexi Fesenbek (Olympia, Wash.) This Micron-sponsored team designed a shoe insole biomonitor to measure the pressure across the wearer’s foot when running or walking. The overall purpose of this project is to create a force map of the feet that can be used to improve athletic performance and diabetic foot health. Team member Lexi Fesenbek reflected on the experience saying, “It was an amazing learning experience to be able to go through this whole process from beginning to end and to actually have a prototype at the end of it.”
These projects allowed graduating seniors to apply everything they have learned in the classroom to real world engineering projects. Such experience is invaluable to the careers of these students and will help them prepare for life post-graduation.