Their senior design project encompasses a diverse range of topics, and the team itself is strengthened by the many perspectives of its members, since all seven are from different countries. The Engineering Design Toolkit team’s task during the past year has been to develop a user-friendly database that will help all future teams make design decisions quickly and accurately.
“This team was formed to help other teams,” said Dr. Joshua Tarbutton, the team mentor. “The overall goal of Senior Design is to use the domain of knowledge students have accumulated to solve a problem. But there is often a gap in this knowledge when it comes to making design choices. This team’s mission is to help other teams’ decision-making processes.”
The team members are Bailey Teague, Fe Schultz, Mena Ghatas, Mutombo Muepu, Sheng Zhou, Timothy Goncharov and Tejwant Polimetla. They are from the Ukraine, the Phillippines, India, China, the Congo, Egypt and the USA.
The team is building a data base of information about topics including power transmission and gears, programmable logic controllers, pneumatics, stepper motors, compressors, software and controls. The information will help future teams, find, evaluate and buy equipment quickly.
The method the team has develop to deliver the extensive range of data they have accumulated is a website.
“We’ve tried to make the website interesting, as well as easy to use,” said team member Bailey Teague. “We’ve put in some video clips to demonstrate the products and tried to add some humor where we could. We had to learn how to make tutorial videos, which included identifying audiences, developing storyboards, writing scripts, and working with recording and editing equipment.”
The team divided into separate subgroups to research and develop information delivery methods for the many different products. This is where the strength of the team’s diversity helped in looking at issues from different points of view.
“It’s been an interesting project and an interesting team to work with,” Teague said. “For us the project has become ‘How can we help our fellow future students?’, not just ‘Are we going to get a good grade?’. If we can help teams be more comfortable in their design decisions and make decisions sooner, we have succeeded.”
The Engineering Design Toolkit team’s project will be on display along with many others at the Senior Design Expo on Dec. 7th, from 11 am to 3 pm in the UNC Charlotte Student Activity Center. The expo is free and open to the public.