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Projects (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)

Our current seniors are applying their skills in real-world, team-based design experiences as they prepare for full-time engineering work.  Some current projects are below:

Two Wheel Car

Two Wheel Car

The project is the third phase of a two-wheel car development. The overall project plan is to combine a body of a four-wheel passenger vehicle and some parts from a regular motorcycle into two-wheel car.

Last semester, the body of the four-wheel passenger car was riveted with steel plates. The engine mount and the steering system were designed according to the given body and parts dimensions. Pneumatic outriggers are determined from force and pressure calculation with the consideration of the maximum weight of the car and possible ground conditions.

In this term, the design of the engine mount and the steering system will be completed. Then, the CAD files are subjected to FEM analysis. Once the analysis is over, we will proceed to the prototyping step. Due to the realistic time limitation and possible major design change on the engine mount, we will only determine the parts need to be machined or purchased to produce the steering system.

Smart Robotic Gripper


Gripbot United was tasked to create a robotic gripper capable of handling a variety of delicate, non-rigid, odd shaped objects without having to make any external adjustments for use as an industrial robot's end-effector or as a human's prosthetic hand. This report focuses on the research, design, analysis and testing we completed in pursuit of creating this "smart" robotic gripper.

Due to the varied properties of the objects we were commissioned to handle with our gripper (egg, apple, water bottle) we established that a gripping force control system would be necessary. Also, as a result of the irregularity of the objects sizes and shapes we determined that the fingers must have some modularity, so we designed each finger to grip independent of the others. We tailored the gripper body into a hand with a thumb and two fore-fingers. Our mechanical design, electronic components and software choices were made with cost as our highest limiting factor due to our desire to create an affordable "smart" gripper. We employed CAD software and CAE software to model and complete a stress analysis of our design. A Kinematic Analysis of the design was used to find the workspace of the gripper fingertips.

Last semester we were successful in designing a reasonably priced smart robotic gripper. In the future, additional sensors and LabVIEW code could be added to identify the type, proximity and temperature of all objects. These additions would equip the user to perform an even broader range of tasks. We will continue to improve upon our Mechanical Design to better integrate our motors and sensors with the gripper as well as integrate the gripper itself to a human or robot arm.

Pole Vault Analysis


The following project is intended to solve a variety of unknowns in the sport of pole vaulting in efforts to make the sport safer and to improve the performance of equipment. From the previous proposal the project was broken down into two different categories consisting of a dynamics and a composites phases. The dynamics team successfully modeled a simplified ten link pole. The composites team accurately modeled the pole's layup orientation and replicated UST Mamiya's three point bend test within a ten percent error. This proposal is intended to determine the pole's stiffness profile. This will be done numerically, by using ANSYS and SolidWorks Motion Study, as well as through analytical methods. These values will then be compared to one another to ensure validity. Once this is determined, the final goal will be finding an optimized stiffness profile for the pole. This stiffness profile will yield the highest jump possible for a vaulter.

Pettinger Engine Analysis and Improvement

Pettinger Enginer

During the fall semester of 2014 Innovative Engine Solutions (IES) performed a detailed analysis of the Pettinger engine. Kinematics and cylinder pressure simulation were explored in order to determine variable valve timing (VVT) parameters of the Pettinger Engine to improve its performance. Though analysis was done on pressure, previously calculated cylinder pressure values were excessive, therefore during the 2015 spring semester, IES will revisit these calculations and correct any errors to produce useful results. The correct pressure values will then lead to the correct theoretical torque output of the engine. The effects and possible benefits of piston rod angularity will be also explored and then compared to that seen by a conventional combustion engine. Once the precise valve timing parameters are calculated, a 3D cam will be designed and constructed using CAD software so as to provide the correct lift and duration to the intake valve, thus removing the throttle valve and eliminating the pumping loss it creates.

Hydro-Plane Boat Hull Analysis and Design

Hydro-Plane Boat

To meet the request of Sun Valley Fiberglass, the following proposal explains the steps and requirements to achieve a 3D model of the ‘unlimited outboard' race boat mold. By use of Solidworks and Star CCM+ our team will perform CFD analysis on the boat hull design. The parameters of the analysis will be varied to simulate the operating conditions of the boat. A final design that satisfies the desired performance characteristics and stability will be presented to Sun Valley Fiberglass in addition to a scaled replica of the design. The total proposed budget including all engineering and technical labor is estimated at $71,000. Facilities available for research on this project are provided by the University of Texas at Arlington which will also provide all tools and software related to this project.

Pierson Hydraulic Pump Optimization

Pierson Pump

A3 Engineering is dedicated to the development of a hydraulic pump that will utilize four pistons bound within a torus shaped cylindrical block. Our team of experts will synthesize a configuration for the pump while obtaining optimal output and functionality. This project will follow a strict timeline with milestones agreed upon by the client to ensure a delivery date of May 10, 2015. The delivered results will include a 3D model of a functional hydraulic pump with analytical support and digital simulation data.

CAD Modeling of PCM


With over 28 years combined engine related experience, ValVeTech is well equipped to assign in the development and further refinement of the Piston Control Mechanism for the Variable Displacement Piston Engine. As with any quality project, all components must be designed to handle and cooperate in the working environment to which they are exposed. ValVeTech is pleased to perform the needed engineering services necessary to further refine the current design and provide a complete CAD model of the finished product upon completion of the spring 2015 school year. We will employ the latest software and engineering tools available to us in order to complete the finished CAD model on schedule and on budget. The knowledge and experience we have gained over the years puts ValVeTech in a unique position to achieve the desired results effectively.

Field Cooking Stove


In the rural regions of many developing countries an estimated 3 billion people still cook over dangerous wood or biomass burning stoves. The pollution produced by these stoves is a major health risk in these developing areas. It primarily affects women and children, who are the ones collecting the fuel for the fire and doing all the cooking, and is believed to be responsible for prematurely taking the lives 1.9 million people each year. With nearly half the world's population using these stoves it is also having a major environmental impact as well. Coupled with the deforestation that takes place in some parts of the world to provide fuel for these stoves, the pollution created by cooking in this way is one of the leading causes of global warming.

Our team at MavCookers plans to test and create a simplified prototype for a safer stove that can be used both by people of the developing world and eventually commercially sold to anyone interested in this cooking technology. The design of this cooking stove is broken into 3 parts: an energy collector, a thermal storage device, and the cooking system. Currently we believe the best energy source will be solar energy. In order to cook during the evening we plan to construct a thermal cooking device that will be able to store the solar energy collected throughout the day and use this with a cooking apparatus to cook a meal for an entire family in a reasonable amount of time.

In the prototyping cycle our main focus is to update the design created during the design cycle and generate a simplified prototype that will prove the validity of the investigated concept so a future product that can adequately cook food and is not harder to use than a wood fire so it will be FieFFadopted by the target audience can be developed. Ease of use, portability, and low cost remain the guiding principles through the prototyping cycle. While it is desired that people in developing countries will be able to afford the device itself it is expected that the device will be fielded as part of government humanitarian aid initially and the cost of the device will be better addressed later during the development of a final product based on the research, testing, and prototyping results found by MavCookers.

Formula 600 Race Car

Formula 600

Originally a carryover project from a previous team, Formula Race Solutions is proposing to complete the engineering analysis and design of the client's Formula 600 (F600) racecar. The Formula 600 Challenge Series was devised to allow for an economical yet competitive entry point for racers looking to compete in open‐wheel road course racing. The F600 race cars use a widely available 600cc four‐stroke motorcycle engine which is capable of revving to 13,000 rpm, allowing the cars to reach speeds in excess of 130 mph. Each car costs approximately $25,000 and series winnings can total over $38,000. The main areas of emphasis are to complete the design of the major parts of the car including rear lateral stabilization, engine mounts, front suspension, uprights and steering rack, and the redesign of the floating sprocket hub. From there, the team will begin fabrication of the frame and make fit decisions based on observation of the physical car. In conclusion, the scope of this project is to complete the major design points and begin the fabrication of the F600 racecar.

Autonomous Gum Removal System

Gum remover

Automated Integrated Machinery (AIM) will design an autonomous Gum removal system. This robust and intelligent designed is called the Autonomous Gum Removal System (AGRS). AGRS should be able to automatically identify, locate, and remove gum off any flat surface without any human guidance. AGRS could potentially run up to eight hours day or night with minimum human assistance. An unmanned ground vehicle platform will guide the robot to a specific gum location that has been identified by the sensors. After the platform reaches into position the autonomous gum removal system will take over. The gum removal procedure will be carried out by a multi degrees of freedom robot which will be mounted onto the autonomous platform. Stress analysis will be done on the robot system along with writing elaborate algorithms to move the robot. The robot could be designed to use high pressured water to blast the gum off the face of the surface. The motivation for the use of the pressure washer is its ability to deliver the strength needed for the task in hand. To make efficient use of the energy and supplies provided, the robot will only pressure wash the area detected with gum. The water will be carefully pressurized to avoid damage to the surface. The AGRS will not only remove the gum but it could also be designed to properly dispose the gum.

Our team will make use of the program RoboRealm. This is a special program in robotics that allows programming the behavior of the robot. Our team will make use of many CAD tools to design a practical machine that will do its intended task effectively. We will also make use of ANSYS 15.0 to perform stress analysis. Our team will also model and dynamically simulate the robot to ensure success in its day to day operations.

Foldable Autorotation Wing for Payload Deployment

Foldable Autorotation

Alternatives to parachutes are beginning to be explored for deploying payloads. A low terminal velocity is usually attained by a parachute providing a gentle landing, but there some risks involved with them. Parachutes can become heavy and increasingly difficult to properly fold for reuse as the weight of the payload increases. The proposed alternative is a device for rapid deployment using autorotation to power a rotor wing enabling it to travel at a quicker speed while safely depositing a payload. The wing will be foldable to increase its compact size and preserve it from wear and tear while not in use. The designed model will be capable of carrying a minimum payload weight of one kilogram, which is about the size of a typical package from carries such as ups, fed-ex, etc. The proposed design shall be scalable to larger payload sizes as well. Over the course of last semester, many achievements were made in relation to proving the concept of feasibility. A NACA 0012 airfoil was chosen to be the profile of the wing. A spreadsheet, later converted to a Matlab code, was created to relate the surrounding elements/forces on the airfoil to determine the wing's geometric dimensions and aerodynamic behavior. A CAD model and animation of the final design of the folding wing and its folding mechanism was created. A smaller, simple prototype was 3D printed to obtain experimental results and compare those results to the analysis performed in the spreadsheet. CFD (computational fluid dynamics) analysis was also performed on the smaller prototype model so that the team could get an idea of how the device would act with the surrounding air flow about the wing design during its descent. A data logger and accelerometer were programmed in order to obtain the experimental results of the smaller prototype.

HVAC System Design for a Junior College

HVAC for a Junior College

Currently there has been a growth in enrollment to local universities in Doha, Qatar which has created a need for a new three story junior college and office building to be constructed. Within this new building, a heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system must be implemented to provide the needed ventilation for a comfortable and safe work environment. In order to provide the required ventilation and achieve a suitable work environment, analysis has to be conducted in order to select the proper equipment for the building. This proposal will detail the UTA HVAC Design Team's current progress in designing the system as well as explain the tasks that are to be carried out this semester in order to complete the ongoing project.

2015 ASHRAE HVAC System Selection


This project competition is to provide correct heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) design calculations for a new three-story community college in Doha, Qatar and be in compliance with ASHRAE standards 55, 62.1, 90.1, and 189.1. Points will be provided on how well these standards are in compliance. ASHRAE 55 defines the range of indoor thermal environmental conditions that are acceptable and accommodate to the variety of design solutions that provide both comfort and sustainability. ASHRAE 62.1 is the standard for the ventilation with acceptable indoor air quality for commercial buildings. ASHRAE 90.1 provides the minimum requirements for an energy-efficient design and construction for most buildings. ASHRAE 189.1 provides design requirements for high-performance green buildings and LEED Rating System. To assist in the load and life cycle analysis calculation Trane TRACE 700 a design and analysis software will be utilized. The program is ideal for the project due to its internal libraries of AHSRAE design standards and procedures, as well as several modeling functionalities.