Spring 2016 seniors applied their skills in real-world, team-based design experiences as they prepare for full-time engineering work. Some of their projects are described below:
Thermal Energy Storage for Solar Cooking
The use of firewood, in developing countries for cooking, leads to deforestation and emission of toxic gases that has led to high fatality rate in the millions. As a result, Gtech Precision Industries reached out to Solar Mavericks team to seek an alternative solution for this problem.
UTA Formula SAE Car & Harley Davidson Muffler Designs
Ventus Muffler Systems was given the task of fabricating two mufflers with distinct engineering design goals. A side effect of the widespread use of internal combustion engines is noise pollution produced as pulses of exhaust gases leave their cylinders.
Interior Removable Plantation Shutter
IDEAL Engineers were tasked with designing a plantation shutter that exceeded the current standard shutters present in the market. The goal of the project was to make a lightweight, affordable, and easy to install window shutter.
Currently plantation shutters are often very expensive, and are difficult for consumers to install or maintain. They are typically very heavy, and require power tools to install or uninstall. This along with other common problems that are associated with plantation shutters deters people from purchasing them.
Method Development to Achieve Resonant Frequency in Fracking
Hydraulic fracturing, also called fracking, is a process where slurry containing water, sand, and chemicals is pushed into cracks under the influence of very high pressure. Improvements can be achieved in different ways. This approach was to determine the resonance frequencies of different configurations and excite the mean flow with an input at the resonance frequency.
Improved Design and Implementation of Heat Sink for Platform Controller Hub
Data servers consume nearly two percent of all electricity used worldwide. Energy efficiency of the Intel-based 2OU Open Compute server was improved by optimizing the heat sink used for cooling the Platform Controller Hub (PCH). The metric used to evaluate the success of the design was a decrease in the maximum temperature of the PCH observed at maximum CPU power utilization. To accomplish this, the existing, extruded fin heat sink was replaced using a cross-cut fin configuration to accommodate the turbulent flow regime within the server.
Improved Mechanical Thumb
Digital Hand Dynamics was tasked to develop an improved mechanical thumb that is capable of achieving most of the degrees of freedom of a human thumb. Through research and development, it was determined that this was possible to achieve at a low cost with implementation of micro servomotors.
A Mathematical Model for Predicting the Fuel Economy for a Variable Displacement Engine
Formula Analytics was tasked to develop a mathematical model for predicting the fuel economy of a Variable Displacement Engine (VDE). Automotive technologies such as Variable Valve Timing, Direct Fuel Injection, and Cylinder Deactivation were created in order to better engine efficiency either by increasing power or reducing fuel consumption. A VDE encompasses the aforementioned technologies, it aims to increase fuel economy without sacrificing engine performance. Our research validates that a VDE has the potential of achieving the same engine performance of a comparable 6-cylinder engine with the fuel economy of a 4-cylinder engine. This horsepower to fuel economy ratio is due to the fact that a VDE can vary its displacement from 3.6L to 1.2L.
Parker Hannifin Stratoflex DAQ
As a leading manufacturer of fluid conveyance components for the aerospace industry, Parker Hannifin Stratoflex strives to ensure all products are designed and manufactured to the highest standards. All parts undergo carefully prescribed testing to verify performance and safety.
Parker has proposed the implementation of a data acquisition system for all pressure test stations on the production floor. Currently there is limited means to record test data, so it is difficult to determine the root cause when a part fails testing. With the proposed system, there will be detailed testing data obtained for every pressure test.
A Variable Displacement Engine Design
Innovative Displacement Technologies (IDT) was tasked with developing and designing a variable displacement engine and to analyze its performance in comparison to conventional engines. A variable displacement engine differs from a conventional engine in that the effective size of the engine, or its displacement, can be changed dynamically through the use of a swash plate. Conventional engines have a fixed displacements and thus fixed levels of performance. A variable displacement engine, on the other hand, is able to provide a range of performances across a wide variety of displacements.
250-4 Engine Dyno Testing
Team 250-4 was in charge of redesigning and fabricating a new exhaust manifold for the 250cc, four cylinder Honda CBR engine mounted in the 2006 UTA FSAE car. This would then be installed onto the engine for it to be dyno tuned with its new setup.
Inside Heat Pipe Cooking Plate
Photon 4 was tasked to design a solar cooker that will use the sun as the source of energy. The project was split into two teams: heat storage & heat delivery. The objective of Photon 4 concentrated on heat delivery using modified heat pipe design. The purpose of the solar cooker is to provide third world countries an alternative cooking method other than burning wood as a heat source. The current wood burning method is causing health problems by inhaling the smoke created and increasing deforestation. Because different foods require different temperatures to cook, the team only concentrated in cooking soup based foods that will feed a family of six. The soup based foods are varied from different regions including South America and Africa.