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LSU Mechanical Engineering Students Showcase Inventions

Imagine building a bike conversion attachment for pediatric wheelchairs or a synthetic anterior cruciate ligament; picture a net zero residential HVAC system in South Louisiana or a high-pressure chamber for simulation of a Venus landing environment.

For many LSU engineering seniors, the pinnacle of their undergraduate curriculum is the ME 4202 Capstone Senior Design Project. In May, these seniors showcased their completed products that began as only ideas more than a year ago.

The LSU College of Engineering and the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering hosted the capstone senior design presentations in the Frank Walk Design Presentation Room and a project exhibition was held in the Patrick F. Taylor Hall Courtyard.

Industry, government, private and non-profit agencies partnered with student groups to sponsor innovative projects designed to provide solutions to current engineering challenges.

"The mechanical engineering capstone design program was pioneered by ME in 1982, when few schools offered anything like it," said Dimitris Nikitopoulos, chair of the LSU Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering. "Today it is an invaluable educational asset for our graduates and is recognized as such by many employers. It is so because it is a holistic experience where the students function as real-life engineers with real-life challenges and responsibilities beyond the technical aspects of the profession. They work as teams on largely industry inspired/sponsored projects and after two semesters they deliver an engineered system/product, which is defended in front of a panel of experienced expert professionals. In their journey through this two-course program and in addition to the technical and conceptual issues in design, they have to deal with the challenges of teamwork, project and budget management, estimation, procurement, redesigns, as well as hands-on manufacturing and communications of all forms with their clients, supervisors and the public.

"Most recently, and in collaboration with the College of Engineering and the programs of other disciplines, we have added an interdisciplinary team component in order to add this real-world challenge and experience to the portfolio of learning opportunities for the students," Nikitopoulos continued. "Last year, we had 33 projects, more than 70 percent of which were sponsored by industry. Of these, 18 percent engaged interdisciplinary teams, including students from electrical and computer engineering and biological engineering, through their respective capstone design programs. This year, a larger number of projects is expected with the interdisciplinary experience expected to encompass industrial engineering students as well as other disciplines beyond electrical and computer engineering and biological engineering. The capstone design program is the epitome of the effort to forge the LSU engineer as defined by our strategic plan."

This year's projects and presenters included:

  • The Relief Valve Discharge Analysis team developed and built a test apparatus to produce results to verify the calculations currently used to determine relief valve reaction forces. Team members included Myles Delcambre, Tyler Pecue and Charles Schexnayder, and the team's adviser was Su-Seng Pang.
Capstone Design ProgramThe mechanical engineering capstone design program began in 1982 and is an invaluable educational asset for LSU's graduates.
Eddy Perez/University Relations
  • The Student Project Composites Autoclave team designed and fabricated an autoclave capable of pressurizing and heating to aid in the manufacturing quality and speed of composites fabricated by various senior design teams. Team members included Charles Becht, Joshua Frick, Bernard Philippe and David Yingst, and the team's adviser was Su-Seng Pang.

  • The New Generation Paintball Gun – Take II team created a unique design to develop a paintball gun that addresses historical performance issues with paintball guns. Team members included Andy Chance, Dallas Amond, Jordan Gautreau, Khalil Hamed and Anthony Key, and the team's adviser was Dorel Moldovan.

  • The Remote Control Fishing Boat team created a uniquely designed remote control fishing boat that allows a fisherman to catch and retrieve the "big one" via stationary or moving bait. Team members included Matthew Dawson and Christopher Blades, and the team's adviser was Marcio de Queiroz.

  • The Design and Construction of a Cost Effective Net Zero HVAC System for a Residential Application in South Louisiana will be used to determined if a net-zero HVAC system can be designed and installed in a residential project in a cost effective delivery method. Team members included Kevin Louth, Kurt Nossaman and William Preble, and the team's adviser was Ram Devireddy.

  • The De-Dust Oil System Upgrade team developed a system that maintains a selected oil temperature and continuously monitors flow rate to improve oil application when bypassing the blender. Team members included Jared Altazan, Chester Guidry, John Lindau, John Viviano and Jeffrey Wiegel, and the team's adviser was Harris Wong.

  • The Fiberglass Reinforce Plastic Joining System team designed a system that eliminates the need for manual "come-a-longs" to join and make dimensional requirements for joints. Team members included Ebenezar Omojola, Sarah Mayhall and Justin St. Romain, and the team's adviser was Jack Helms.

  • The High-Pressure Chamber for Simulation of Venus Landing Environment team built a high-pressure chamber capable of allowing safe, repeatable testing of the thermal conductivity of porous insulation over a range of pressures from 1-100 atmospheres to overcome the extremely hostile environment on Venus. Team members included Dominick Sparacino, Jordan Castillo, Austin Cooley, Thomas LaCour and Melvin Triay, and the team's adviser was Michael Martin.

  • The Feedpump Turbine Overspeed Testing Device teams developed a field deployable module that is capable of testing a much larger turbine, such as the Feedpump Turbine, using the ILD-patented concepts as the beginning point of the design. Team members for Subsytem A included Blake Cradeur, Dustin Goitia and Bryant Helbling, and the team's adviser was Su-Seng Pang. Team members for Subsystem B included Madelyn Bramlet, Ashley Hall and Stephen Evans, and the team's adviser was Su-Seng Pang.
Capstone Design ProgramThe SAE Mini Baja Car team designed and manufactured an off road vehicle to compete in the SAE Mini-Baja Collegiate Design Competition.
Eddy Perez/University Relations
  • The Portable Ice Chest/Ice Maker team developed a portable device to produce and store ice. Team members included Steven Menard, Alexander Placzek, Kenneth Schnauder and Jeremy Stonger, and the team's adviser was Dimitris Nikitopoulos.

  • The Bucket Wheel for De-Watering and Classification of Aggregate Slurries team designed a dewatering wheel and control system that can be matched to their standard product line of aggregate Cutter Suction Dredges. Team members included Wade Aguillard, Chris Atieno, Chris Bernard, Kenneth Hilse and Neil Tribou, and the team's adviser was Dimitris Nikitopoulos.

  • The Swell Compensated Ladder for Cutter Suction Dredge team designed a swell compensated ladder structure and hoisting system that enables a dredge to operate in waves and maintains consistent engagement of the cutter head to the bottom surface. Team members included Julie Bourgeois, Lance Songy, Jarrett Wilson and Samuel Woodham, and the team's adviser was Sunggook Park.

  • The Multi-Directional Tank Cleaning Tool team created a tool that can be utilized to slurry solids without creating the trenching effect. Team members included Robert Barrilleaux, Taylor Boudreaux, Eric Breaux, Justin Dantin and Patrick Laley, and the team's advisers were Jack Helms and A.J. McPhate.

  • The SAE Mini Baja Car team designed and manufactured an off road vehicle to compete in the SAE Mini-Baja Collegiate Design Competition. Team members included Carlos Perea, Devin Poirrier, Guy Schexnayder, Justin White and Seth Williams, and the team's adviser was Dimitris Nikitopoulos.

  • The Biodiesel Education and Engagement Program, or B.E.E.P., team reconstructed the LSU Tiger Truck using materials made to stand the test of time so that it can be utilized in the B.E.E.P. program to provide biodiesel education to the public. Team members included Brandi Guarino, Ian McMills, Kolby St. Germain, Marcus Toussaint and Paul Vaughn, and the team's adviser was Ram Devireddy.

  • The Challenges to Subsea Systems Due to Marine Growth and Calcification team recommended solutions for equipment that preserved the delicate balance between energy production and the natural ecosystem. Team members included Roger DeSanti, Zac LeBlanc, Yousef Suliman and Elizabeth Kissner, and the team's adviser was Ram Devireddy.

  • The Intake and Exhaust Assembly for Formula SAE Car team determined the most effective power plant configuration to increase power and drivability of a Formula SAE car while minimizing weight. Team members included Nimai Delgado, Kori Lutenbacher, Corey McCon, Michael Quarls and Suman Thakuri, and the team's adviser was Ingmar Schoegl.
Capstone Design ProgramThe Subsea Exhibit Able to Integrate Grade-Level Expectations with ROVs, or SEATIGER, team developed the next generation of the SEATIGER exhibit.
Eddy Perez/University Relations
  • The SAE Aero Competition teams prepared an unmanned electric aircraft for the SAE Aero Micro Class design competition. Team A members included John Henken, Patrick Madore, Ryan Marsolan, Jishnu Medhi, Andrea Spring and Julie Quach, and the team's adviser was Michael Martin. Team B members included Michael Anderson, Jordan Auxt, Ryan Hildebrandt, Alexander Stewart, Perry VanZandt and David Blankenship, and the team's adviser was Michael Martin.

  • The Subsea Exhibit Able to Integrate Grade-Level Expectations with ROVs, or SEATIGER, team developed the next generation of the SEATIGER exhibit. Team members included Chase Corte, Benjamin Ewing, Taylor Graham, Michael Mannino and Peter Tran, and the team's adviser was Warren Waggenspack.

  • The Formula 1 Intercooler team fabricated a water-cooled intercooler for the UNCC F1 racing team using Mezzo micro tube technology. Team members included Jonathan Foman, Dustin Jarrell, Derek Jarrell, Kevin Lejeune and Charles Musso, and the team's adviser was Yitshak Ram.

  • The Rack Growing System team designed and built a high-yield growing system using minimal amounts of water, nutrient, energy and space. Team members included Rebecca Fontenette, Allysson Luons, Rafael Murillo, Alys Reed, Dana Trahan and Christina Walter, and the team's adviser was Michael Murphy.

  • The Surface Passivation of Aluminum-Based Microchannel Devices team developed a functional apparatus for electrochemical surface treatment of aluminum-based microchannel devices. Team members included Charles Bourgeois, Kelly Clement, Paul Hymel and Michael Reich, and the team's adviser was Ying Wang.

  • The Extruder Temperature Control team created a better yet cost effective temperature regulation scheme that can be retrofit onto existing extruder installations. Team members included Joseph Bacala, Michael Costa and Garrett Geoffroy, and the team's adviser was Ingmar Schoegl.

  • The Continuous Bread Weight Scaling team developed an in-line weighing system that can determine the weight of loaves without losing the material or slowing the production process. Team members included Gregory Gaubert, Preston Hymel, Joel Jurisich, Caleb MacKenzie, Scott Pierce and Adam Roth, and the team's adviser was Marcio deQueiroz.

  • The Instant Infant team developed a bottle holder for infant cribs, swings, beds and babyseats that enables placement of the bottle so that parents and/or caregivers can complete other tasks. Team members included Mohammed Alnasserullah, Linda Vavasseur and Spencer Wilcox, and the team's adviser was Dorel Moldovan.
Capstone Design ProgramThe SAE Aero Competition teams prepared an unmanned electric aircraft for the SAE Aero Micro Class design competition.
Eddy Perez/University Relations
  • The Salt Spray/Fog Testing Apparatus team designed an apparatus to allow for performing salt spray corrosion testing. Team members included Matthew Bennett, Eric Escher, Kody Jones, Joshua Rhodes and Jeremy Walker, and the team's adviser was Dorel Moldovan.

  • The Development of Multiscalar Hierarchical Synthetic Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL, team designed a more efficient prosthetic implant for ACL reconstruction that would be available for commercial use. Team members included Michael Allen, Elissa Ledoux, Shawn Whaley, Teriana Wilcox and Andrew Doyle, and the team's adviser was Michael Murphy.

  • The Flag Assembly Project team developed efficiencies by automating the assembly of flag components used liquid level instrumentation. Team members included Frederick Andries, Josph Carrier, Daniel Graves and Collin McKey, and the team's adviser was Marcio deQueiroz.

  • The Bike Conversion Attachment for Pediatric Manual Wheelchairs team developed a bike attachment for a pediatric wheelchair that allows children a new way to exercise their legs while having fun. Team members included Jason Cradeur, Blake Landry, Lauren Titone and Eunji Yu, and the team's adviser was Michael Murphy.

  • The Combustion Test Facility for Elevated Temperatures and Pressures designed a test facility that accommodates combustion experiments at elevated temperatures and pressures. Team members included Michael Barron, Lester Figueroa, Josue Guifarro, John Brown and Rashod Albert, and the team's adviser was Ingmar Schoegl.

  • The Plastics Parts Fatigue Machine Station team developed an electrically powered single station tensile fatigue machine that provides a uniform load profile over the duration of the fatigue test as the specimen grows in length. Team members included David Cox, Erick Jackson, Steven Mixon, Shane Moore and William Poynot, and the team's adviser was Su-Seng Pang.