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LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Bucknell University mechanical engineers will showcase their top-notch research and design projects in a senior design exposition on Tuesday, April 29, in room 134 of the Dana Engineering Building from noon to 4 p.m.

"The process with which they approach and achieve complex design objectives is both a practical application of their knowledge and a culmination of their undergraduate experience at Bucknell." - Jim Orbison, dean of the College of Engineering

Student design teams will display engineering projects -- as diverse as alternative energy power generation and an all-terrain vehicle that will be raced in a national competition in May -- and be available to describe their design, manufacture and function.

The annual design exposition, said Jim Orbison, dean of the College of Engineering, allows students to gain first-hand professional experience at solving multi-faceted engineering problems within a range of technical and non-technical constraints. "The process with which they approach and achieve complex design objectives is both a practical application of their knowledge and a culmination of their undergraduate experience at Bucknell," said Orbison.

Senior design project highlights include:

  • An undershot waterwheel-powered electrical system that will use kinetic energy in the Susquehanna River to power a string of lights on an island for night visibility. Based on research, the student engineers built and tested a demonstration system using a water flume test-bed in Dana Engineering and the actual Susquehanna River site.
  • Engineering specifications for a solar-powered water heater system. Using engineering techniques and computer-aided analysis tools, the senior design team fabricated and tested a functional proof of concept prototype on a modular housing unit at Bucknell West.
  • The design and fabrication of an all-terrain vehicle that will be raced in a national competition in May sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The rugged vehicle is designed to excel in competitive tests on land and water and a four-hour endurance race on a grueling cross-country course.
  • A prototype of a human-carried system that incorporates mechanical stabilization to steady sensitive video cameras being used to create detailed 360-degree views of building environments. The backpack device dampens the walking movement as an operator traverses a building structure.
  • Design and test of a scaled model of a folding sailboat mast. Based on model analysis, a full-scale model of the mast was designed, constructed and tested to determine the operational integrity of the mast under maximum loading.
  • The manufacturing process design for a board game, Trouble in the Bubble. The project covers all aspects of associated process design, manufacture and evaluation as well as research and evaluation of alternative fabrication methods and materials, concept modeling and process capability assessment.

Bucknell's College of Engineering was formed in 1962 and consists of departments in six engineering disciplines: biomedical, chemical, civil and environmental, computer science, electrical and mechanical.

Contact: Division of Communications

Posted April 24, 2008

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