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KIUEL-Sponsored Senior Capstone Design Competition Fills Archimedes Plaza with Student Ingenuity

Industry judges View, Review and Reward Winning Projects

May 05, 2011 —

The Klein Institute for Undergraduate Engineering Life has for three years been encouraging advanced undergraduates to address social needs in “capstone” class research projects. The 2011 crop of student ingenuity was on display April 29 in the KIUEL Senior Design Expo.

First prize winners: left to right, Cauchy Choi, Michele Kawate, Andy Chu, and Sam Lin
The senior capstone design is a curriculum requirement across all engineering majors. Now, all Viterbi departments offer senior-level design research classes, totaling 24 in all.

For the last couple of years, through the initiative of the Division of Engineering Education, the capstone design courses have been encouraged to center their efforts along themes, such as assisting the disabled. With KIUEL encouragement, capstone courses connect student problem solvers with government offices, community groups and businesses.

In addition, in partnership with KIUEL, a Senior Design Expo is held at the end of the spring semester. This year, 14 teams from four of these classes, comprising 49 seniors, presented projects that ranged from keeping track of dogs and cats in animal shelters to air traffic control backup systems.

The presenters included students from CSCI 477, taught by David Wilczynski (which sent eight teams to the competition); AME 441, taught by Tony Maxworthy and Charles Radovich; BME 405, taught by Jean-Michel Maarek; and EE 434, taught by Antonio Ortega.

Second prize: Eric Wolfe, Jin Lee, Chrystal Lin. Not shown: Brian Lee

Corporate judges Linton Honda, Amy Lin and Uduak Ntuk evaluated the projects, spread out in poster form around Archimedes Plaza.

First place went to “Human Remote,” a BME effort that allows disabled people to control hardware using hand gestures. It was created by Andy Chu, Cauchy Choi, Michele Kawate, and Sam Lin.

Professor David Wilczynski, second from right, with event organizers (from left) Ken Diedrich, Lauren Wendlberger, Marianna Kolonelos-Wright,  and Kelly Mettler. Not shown: Catlin Sarian

Runner up was “Syncope,” (aka “Pharmville”), by Eric Wolfe, Jin Yoo, Brian Lee, and Crystal Lin. This was a CSCI information system designed to improve data flow between patients, pharmacies, health care providers, and insurance companies.

Ryan Jansen and Eric Teegarden’s AME design for a rocket motor for nanosatellites, which earlier this year won first prize in a regional aerospace conference in San Diego came third.
The popular prize, voted as the favorite by those attending the projects on display in the Engineering Quad, went to BME's "Liftsense Diagnostics," a physical diagnostic system for weight training.