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Engineering students show off real-life projects

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Carlos Herrera | The Daily Wildcat

Kenny Strangio, an electrical and computer engineering senior (center) answers questions from Vincent Pawlowski (left) and Dave Gebert (right) about the 1978 Triumph Spitfire electric car project during the College of Engineering’s annual Engineering Design Day on Tuesday. The event showcased 64 student design projects, which 352 engineering students had been working on for two semesters. The event was organized by the college’s Interdisciplinary Engineering Design Program and was sponsored by BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin.

More than 350 undergraduate engineering students gathered on the UA Mall on Tuesday to showcase their real-life projects.

The event, called UA Engineering Design Day, attracted students from engineering disciplines such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, biosystems engineering and more to work with industry and faculty to create engineering solutions to real-life problems through applicable projects.

Students presented these projects on the Mall, allowing others to come around and view their work and ask them questions regarding their research.

These projects include the Tanque Verde High School Greenhouse Aquaponics Project, which can sustain 120 pounds of tilapia and produce 24 heads of lettuce per week, and the Silver Fox Next Generation Aerospace Engineering Project, which designed an airframe and aimed to improve it.

Austin Rivera, an aerospace engineering senior, was one of the students who worked on the Silver Fox Next Generation Aerospace Engineering project. Rivera said he found Engineering Design Day to be an exciting experience.

“So far I think it’s really interesting,” Rivera said. “It’s cool to come outside and see how everyone came together to build different projects.”

The students started working on their projects in groups in the fall semester, Rivera said, and had to cooperate as a team to achieve a common goal.

Alison Burton and Aaron Tirado, both biosystem engineering seniors, worked on the Tanque Verde High School Greenhouse Aquaponics Project. Burton said she felt that presenting these projects allowed her to use the knowledge she has learned in her major and explore the ideas of other engineers.

“I feel like a lot of the things we learn come into context here,” Burton said. “It’s really neat to see what the other engineers are doing.”

After the showcase ended, an awards ceremony was held where more than $14,000 in prize money went to winning teams. The awards were provided by event sponsors and included Best Overall Design Award, the Fish Out of Water Award, the Innate Art and Beauty of Engineering Award and
the Best Sustainable Engineering Award, among others.

Tirado said hhe felt this event really allowed engineering students to show others outside the major what engineering is all about and allowed other students to explore these new ideas.

“There were a lot of people coming around and looking at the projects, and they were all excited about what we did,” Tirado said. “It’s fun to see what we learn and put it into practice.”


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