Penn State University Engineering Capstone Showcase, Fall 2018.

Penn State University Engineering Capstone Showcase, Fall 2018.

Thursday, two days before finals was the PSU Engineering Capstone showcase. Even though I have been a lecturer there for the last six years I didn’t realize it is by far the largest Capstone showcase of this type in the world, and it is growing year by year. This year there were over 88 Capstone teams competing, mostly graduating seniors, but a good number of freshmen in engineering, in all around 1000 participants.

The set-up began at 10:30 a. m. in the Bryce Jordan main Arena, with 88 senior Capstone projects displaying their results.

The success of the showcase is in part because of a large number of corporate sponsors, many who sponsor multiple projects. Some of these projects are the very cutting edge of  science, and provide a real challenge for the students.

My role as an instructor is quite simple: To convert the engineering students from students to world class engineers in 17 short weeks. The engineering students are organized in teams of 4 or 5 persons. Most of the teams consist of engineers from more than 2 engineering majors. So the teams must get to know each other, work together as a functioning team, do the research, build a prototype or a final product as a team, with deadlines to meet. This is quite different from cramming for an exam.

The projects are quite different: This fall I had the opportunity to coach 5 teams:This team was a delight to work with from beginning to end. From the first meeting with the sponsors (fig above) they worked together as a team, met all deadlines with ease, produced a high quality report on how to improve and automate the report of the inspection of parking garages and other concrete structures.

For their efforts they won the overall first prize for best project in the showcase.

this project attempted to use the internet of things to make public restrooms smarter by reporting over the internet the soap dispenser being empty, paper running low, overflowing waste containers, and the likes and report the results to the central janitorial staff for better and more efficient maintenance. They won second prize for best poster.

Then there were two projects with Siemens and their forage into Industrie 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution. One project

showed how to improve security in the Penn State Learning Factory yet to be built by having more secure personnel and equipment procedures using badge scanners, making sure who is in a specific room at all times.

The other team used the Siemens MindConnect to monitor equipment functioning and facilitate preventive maintenance through monitoring automation

And finally the robot competition, used as a recruitment tool for Boeing and Lockheed, who like most companies are looking for the most talented and best student graduates.

A good time was had by all, and at 3 o’clock it was time for the presentation of the awards. Free Penn State Creamery ice cream for everyone!

Another successful Showcase at Penn State University, making yet another batch of world class engineers. Yes, they come from all over the world, two of my teams had students from 4 different countries! (including U.S.)

Penn State University Engineering Capstone Showcase 2018.

Thursday, two days before finals was the PSU Engineering Capstone showcase. Even though I have been a lecturer there for the last six years I didn’t realize it is by far the largest Capstone showcase of this type in the world, and it is growing year by year. This year there were over 200 teams competing, mostly graduating seniors, but a good number of freshmen in engineering, and not a few graduate projects, in all over 1000 participants.

The set-up began at 10:30 a. m. in the Bryce Jordan main Arena, with 139 senior Capstone projects displaying their projects.

The overflow training area had over 70 projects from Civil Engineering and Earth Science, Nuclear Engineering, as well as graduate projects and the displays from the freshman Engineering Design course.

The success of the showcase is in part because of a large number of corporate sponsors, many who sponsor multiple projects. Some of these projects are the very cutting edge of  science, and provide a real challenge for the students.

My role as an instructor is quite simple: To convert the engineering students from students to world class engineers in 17 short weeks. The engineering students are organized in teams of 4 or 5 persons. Most of the teams consist of engineers from more than 2 disciplines. So the teams must get to know each other, work together as a functioning team, do the research, build a prototype or a final product as a team, with deadlines to meet. This is quite different from cramming for an exam.

The projects are quite different:

Here is a project to build a prototype fit-bit that monitors the total activity and inactivity of a subject.

Next is a happy team that made a LED light that can adjust the color and saturation of light and modulate upon command.

Not all projects are innovative. This project from Philips ultrasound division involved upgrading an old impedance measuring device to function with the newest hardware and software, in short a project that many computer engineers will experience; what to do with legacy hardware and software.

Next was a project to utilize the internet of things.

 

This project was interesting: Modify existing wood carving software to get a realistic wood carving of a dog from a photo.

They certainly seem happy!

My favorite project this year was to use a hololens to make an image of a liver projected in 3D in the hololens. The object was to help the surgeon by identifying nerves and vessels to improve the accuracy of surgery.

At 3 o’clock it was time for the presentation of the awards. Free Creamery ice cream for everyone!

Another successful Showcase at Penn State University, making yet another batch of world class engineers. Yes, they come from all over the world, one of my teams only had one American!

State College broke the record for ice luminaries! A Limerick.

World record for lights in State College

for ice lanterns frozen with knowledge.

Up and down Allen Street,

see the lights, ain’t it sweet.

A record, will Guinness acknowledge?

The number of ice luminaries made by community members show State College broke the world record that was set in 2013 by Vuollerim, Sweden with 2,561 ice luminaries. The town in Sweden is located only 10 miles south of the Arctic Circle and has about 700 inhabitants, so that record was quite remarkable.  John Stitzinger, a founder of The Make Space in downtown State College announced the total, 5,622., at the Light Up State College event Saturday night.

Way to go, State College.  Go Penn State!!

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