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Engineering expo aims to help

September 26, 2013

 

IAN EDWARDS
Staff Reporter

 

Every day, people encounter problems that make life more complicated. Whether it is having to get up to find the remote or just struggling to make one’s guitar look cooler, there is a need for a solution. What is a person to do?

A former expo project sits atop David Hall’s desk. - Photo by Derek J. Amaya

A former expo project sits atop David Hall’s desk. – Photo by Derek J. Amaya

 

Thankfully, the students of Engineering 122 are here to solve these problems with their prototype projects during the Freshman Design Expo.

 

David Hall, professor of mechanical engineering, said his students have been participating in the expo since 2007.

 

“The expo is the final activity that the students perform during their freshman courses,” Hall said. “They spend time in 120 and 121 learning to work with robots and programming in order to prepare for the expo.”

 

He said the basic skills taught in freshman courses are then applied on a larger scale, which later allows them to go out on their own and develop an original project.”

 

HALL

HALL

Hall also outlined the general flow of the creation process.

 

“For the first seven classes of 122, they are told to develop a ‘bug list,’” Hall said. “The list consists of things that bug them in their daily lives. It doesn’t have to be school-related either.”

 

Hall said after class nine, the students come together in groups of about two to four, combine their lists and attempt to make the best project a reality.

 

As the Expo plays out similar to a high school science fair, awards are given out to competitors. However, a few unique awards can be won.

 

“In addition to the typical first and second place award, we have the Rolex Award, da Vinci award and the ‘Shoot the Moon’ Award,” Hall said. “The Rolex Award goes to the most cleanly set up project, the da Vinci Award goes to the most creative project, and the Shoot the Moon Award goes to a highly ambitious project that maybe did not have all its components fully working during the time of presentation.”

 

Even though the expo is not until November, many students are already feverishly working on the preparation process.

 

Garrett Cobb, a sophomore who began freshman engineering last winter, said he is looking forward to the expo because he already has four bugs.

 

“I have an idea for a decibel level sensor,” he said. “It will adjust the decibel level in your car while factoring in other variables like road noise. That way, people won’t damage their ears in the long run.”

 

The expo will be held Nov 4 in Bogard Hall Rooms 129 and 130. For more information, contact the engineering department at 318-257-2842.

 

Email comments to ije001@latech.edu.

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