April 9, 2014

Student projects run the gamut at Schulich’s Capstone Design Fair

More than 100 final-year projects on display, from 3D chocolate printer to lightweight backcountry bridges

About 550 engineering students in their final year at the Schulich School of Engineering showed off everything from a bioprocess that manipulates stem cells to a baseball pitching machine, at the annual Capstone Design Fair in MacEwan Hall Tuesday.

“It’s one of the best days of the year at Schulich School of Engineering,” says Ron Hugo, associate dean (teaching and learning). “There is so much pride and excitement.”

A group of mechanical and manufacturing engineering students built "The Sweetest Project," a 3D chocolate printer that was printing out chocolate chess rooks all day. “It could build anything you want,” says team member Chris Cheng. “You can sketch anything in Autocad and it will be able to print it in chocolate.” 

Victoria Mandley and her team in geomatics engineering developed technology to help Baltic Sea fisherman catch Atlantic herring. “We used satellite data to try to predict where fish populations would be with the intention of being used by fishermen to increase their yields,” she says.

A few displays over, civil engineering students showed off their design for a lightweight bridge to be installed in the backcountry by helicopter to replace bridges washed out by last summer’s flood. “The old bridges were built using fire roads but those are just trails now so you can’t bring machines up anymore,” says Nathaniel Mulder, one of 11 team members that came up with the cost effective solution.

Kerilee Hakala and her teammates in chemical engineering developed an upgrading process to make bitumen produced in SAGD projects able to be transported by pipeline and “end up with two products, crude oil and road asphalt that you can sell.”

Electrical engineering student David Adair and his teammates built a computer-assisted surgical navigational tool to help surgeons by projecting a model of the heart or other body part, including veins, arteries or scar tissue on the patient. “What our project aimed to do is bring this information and be able to show it on the patient instead of a screen.” he says.

At the beginning of their final year, students are given a list of projects and asked to choose their top four and they’re assigned one. “They know the answer first, the design solution they are trying to achieve, but they don’t know what the problem is – that’s the beauty of a design project,” says Hugo. “It forces them to think in ways they’ve never thought about before.”

The fair and the awards are sponsored by Devon Canada. “The Capstone Design Fair is a unique opportunity for up-and-coming engineers to apply their knowledge and distinct perspective to solve problems or prove theories,” says Corrine Bell Devon’s supervisor, Campus Recruitment. “The fair is an example of how these future engineers will apply the principles of innovation to the industry in which they work.”

The 2014 Capstone Design Winners are:

Chemical Engineering First Place: Production of Docosahexaenoic Acid (DHA) and Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA)

  • Graham Macgillivray
  • Joshua Graham
  • Kyle Mason
  • Matthew Rakochey

Chemical Engineering Second Place: Design of a Large-Scale Bioprocess to Produce Human Hepatitis B Vaccine Using Genetic Engineering Technology

  • Felix Chung
  • Carter Dziuba
  • Tiago Lins
  • Su Wang

Civil Engineering First Place: Goat’s Eye Avalanche Mitigation

  • Adam Thomas Ashdown
  • Timothy Johnson
  • Leah Kushner
  • Cole Alexander Phili Paladeau
  • Hayden Rombough
  • Timothy Peder Ryland
  • Alexander Jacob Edmond Wall
  • Rhian Zwierzchowski

Civil Engineering Second Place: Bearspaw Fire Hall

  • Deniel Arnautovic
  • Byron Tanner Benoit
  • Edwin Clement
  • Juan Ignacio Cruz Vega
  • Patrick Daniel Cyr
  • Shane Mitchinson
  • Carri Ko
  • Andrej Lukic
  • Michael Bolusan Sampang
  • Mladen Vujanovic
  • Benjamin Matthew Witzaney

Electrical and Computer Engineering First Place: Computer-Assisted Surgical Navigation

  • David Adair
  • Steven Campbell
  • Jason Kraft
  • Adam Parisien

Electrical and Computer Engineering Second Place: Phronesis Home Automation System

  • Michael Nare
  • Mark D’Adamo
  • Christian Saiad Shirabad
  • Christopher Horne
  • Denny Huynh

Geomatics Engineering First Place: Development of an Open-Source Internet-of-Things Shelf Prototype

  • Jeremy Steward
  • Alexandra Cummins
  • Harshini Nanduri
  • Ben Trodd
  • Kathleen Ang

Geomatics Engineering Second Place: Creation of a 3D Digital Model of the Ronald McDonald House, Calgary, AB

  • Dylan Barreira
  • Robyn Soroka
  • Noelle Diakow
  • Evan Thompson
  • Brad Machon

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering First Place: Robotic Welding Manufacturing Process

  • Radhika Gehlot
  • Simon Daniel Kirkland
  • Daniel Lewis Korner
  • Greg Douglas Lightheart
  • Simon Robert Schmitt

Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Second Place: Rugged and Portable Tripod Head for Motion Control Photography

  • Riley Booth
  • Neeraj Nair
  • Ivan Kai Yin Ng
  • John Angelo Mondejar Salazar
  • Euan Tye
  • Scott Woldu