Spring 2018 Senior Design Expo Winners

Wednesday, May 9, 2018
Spring 2018 Senior Design Expo Winners

The William States Lee College of Engineering held its spring-semester Senior Design Expo on May 3, 2018. Teams who started in fall 2017 presented their completed two-semester projects, while teams who started in spring 2018 presented their first-semester design-concept posters.

The three completed projects judged the best were:

First Place - NASA University Student Launch Initiative
Project Overview – The NASA University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) involved students in designing, building and testing reusable rockets with associated scientific payloads. The project required the design and construction of a re-useable dual deployment rocket capable of carrying a designated payload to a specified altitude. Rocket motor thrust was tested extensively using the 49er Rocketry Club’s rocket motor test stand, and the team generated and interpreted the rocket motor thrust curves to determine final altitude. The payload had scientific value relevant to NASA’s mission, which included performing a task and taking measurements. Several half-scale launches and two full-scale launches were conducted prior to competition in April, in Huntsville, Al. The team was separated into two sub groups, Payload Team and Launch Vehicle Team.

Second Place - TE Connectivity Automotive Environmental Test Chamber
Project Overview – The company TE Connectivity had experienced some field failures on a 28-position connector due to large amounts of dust accumulating inside of the connector. Despite multiple experiments, the failure had not been successfully replicated in a laboratory setting. The senior design project team studied the causes of field failures, determined what caused the failures, and then designed and built a test chamber to replicate the field failures of the 28-position connector. The test chamber replicated the environmental conditions that caused the failures, so that future designs of connectors could be tested to ensure new designs would not experience these field failures. The chamber was completely sealed so it could be easily cleaned for safety purposes.

Third Place - Real-time Object Detection and Tracking
Project Overview - Embedded vision refers to the deployment of visual capabilities to better understand 2D/3D visual scenes. It covers a variety of rapidly growing markets and applications. The aim of the senior design project was to create an embedded system capable of running real-time object detection and tracking. The students performed hardware/software co-design for embedded platforms including developing custom hardware accelerators for compute-intensive vision kernels, as well as embedded software for control and decision making. For implementation, the student worked with a Xilinx Zynq platform as the state-of-the-art embedded platform combining ARM cores with FPGAs fabric in a single chip.

The awards for teams presenting the best final Senior Design project videos went to:
First place - Lowes Lawn Mower Blade Design and Characterization
Second Place - NASA University Student Launch Initiative
Third Place - H-53 Helicopter Tail Drive Disconnect Coupling Locking Device

Providing students with an innovative, hands-on learning experience, the Senior Design Program at UNC Charlotte is educating engineering students, supporting industry partners and benefiting the State of North Carolina. The program teaches students how to apply their years of math, science, and engineering knowledge to solve the unique problems presented by many progressive North Carolina companies. The William States Lee College of Engineering encourages multi-disciplinary projects that involve engineering and technology solutions in the disciplines of mechanical, electrical, computer, systems, environmental and civil engineering.