The Daily Evergreen

Engineering students showcase capstone tech

Students displayed their take on projects like mechanical trees, rockets, medical devices

Sean+Journot%2C+a+senior+mechanical+engineering+major%2C+works+with+his+team+on+a+rocket+as+part+of+his+capstone+project.+
Sean Journot, a senior mechanical engineering major, works with his team on a rocket as part of his capstone project.

Sean Journot, a senior mechanical engineering major, works with his team on a rocket as part of his capstone project.

COURTESY OF ADAM DOAN

COURTESY OF ADAM DOAN

Sean Journot, a senior mechanical engineering major, works with his team on a rocket as part of his capstone project.

SANG JUNG, Evergreen reportere

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WSU engineering students showcased their capstone projects that ranged from miniature airplanes to medical devices in the Elson S. Floyd Cultural Center on Friday.

Tyrell Turner, a senior majoring in mechanical engineering, said he and his team members have been working on creating a mechanical tree. He said it will serve as an interactive and engaging responsive mechatronic mechanism.

“This is just our structure of the tree,” Turner said. “It’s a pretty long and big project because we are also planning on doing a huge landscape of mechatronic flowers that open and close when you touch it and other projects like that.”

Turner said the project was inspired by the blending of art and engineering.

“I thought it was pretty fascinating and it was the challenge we wanted to take on,” he said. “We were given instruction on what the professor thought needed to be done, then we put the twist of our own feeling on it and got it done.”

Turner said the biggest challenge has been the circuits and coding, which he said his team was currently adjusting to improve the design.

“It took a lot … of our coding to make it interact with each other,” he said. “Also the wires, because it obviously would not function if there was even just a little bit of [a] problem.”

Turner said something they learned was to order the parts earlier in the year. He also said they learned a lot about machining and designing — and, of course, a whole bunch of coding.

Adam Doan, a senior majoring in computer engineering, said he and his team have been working on rockets.

“This is the rocket we built for the last eight months,” Doan said. “This rocket is built to reach 10,000 feet altitude. It actually has a very powerful engine, so if you hold on to it, it could bring you up like 600 feet.”

Doan said his team worked on airplanes in the past, but decided rockets would be more exciting, and they have been working on them ever since.

“Building the body of the rocket has been challenging,” he said. “It’s a long process.”

Doan said his team learned that when they go into the workforce, the process of making rockets is similar, but more complicated.

Aidan Garcia, a junior majoring in chemical engineering, said his team has been working on a medical device called the antimicrobial noninvasive medical belt.

“This device is really helpful in therapeutic care because it prevents you from infection hazard,” Garcia said.

He added that medical devices such as wheelchairs, crutches, braces and other therapeutic devices help patients to get around, but it is a known problem that they are an infection hazard.

“The challenge has been basically putting the cart before the horse, so to speak,” he said. “I’m [from] an engineering background, so we want everything to be really well laid-out beforehand. And in business, that’s just not going to happen. You have to constantly be consulting with your customers about design considerations.”

Garcia said his team learned how to get out of the lab and actually ask customers to use their products. He said as an engineer, one wants everything to be technically perfect in one’s head.

“But really what matters is what the customers want,” Garcia said. “That was definitely the biggest thing we learned in that situation.”

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Engineering students showcase capstone tech