April 24, 2018
Engineering students are seeking to make a difference in the community through projects designed to help innovate education and other topics in Colorado Springs.
Students will present their design projects at the Engineering Senior Design Exposition on April 30 in the Gallogly Events Center. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the event will begin at 5 p.m.
The exposition is part of ECE 4899: Senior Design Project, a class offered to engineering majors during the last semester of their senior year.
Senior mechanical engineering majors Estell Moore and Mary Weber will perform education demonstrations for flight dynamics with the National Museum of WWII Aviation. According to Moore, the museum approached them with a proposal for the demonstrations.
The demonstrations include 3D models of airfoils that contain blunt objects in the technology’s wind tunnel. These demonstrations can be used by teachers in STEM programs.
“The museum has a $450,000 air Tec Pit scale wind tunnel that have basic vertical mounts and 3D printed air foils that they would be in the wind tunnel, and nothing would happen. So they approached us and gave us the proposal,” said Moore.
Moor and Weber also have an RC remote airplane that will be installed in the wind tunnel. According to Peter Goder, associate professor and chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Weber and Moore’s project is particularly successful.
In Senior Design, students are split up into 21 groups and are tested on areas of communication, computer engineering, controls, design and analysis, according to Moore. Each group will complete a design project proposal.
Proposals will satisfy clients’ need and wants, and students will have one semester to complete the proposals.Colorado Springs Utilities and Lutheran World Relief are a couple of the clients that students will be working with this year.
“The company’s working with us look at it as much as a recruiting tool as much as everything else,” said Gorder.
“I know a few people that already have a few internships with the company they are working with,” said Weber.
Although Students of Senior Design will learn important skills that will benefit them down the road, such as communication, teamwork and practical understandings of how businesses function, it will also extend into helping others through community outreach.
But their goal doesn’t just education; they also want to use their project to attract more young women and minorities in STEM fields, according to Weber.
“As a women in the engineering field, there very aren’t many of us,” said Weber. “We want them (young women) to say yeah I understand this and I can do this.”