2016 Student Projects
A.P.E.S. (Automated Plant Environment Shield)
The A.P.E.S. team has created a modular, automated, consistent, plant covering shield that blocks all light from reaching the poinsettias at night. The design uses a hemispherical method combined with a spring loaded arm to cover each side of the poinsettias completely.
Adjustable Governor for Synchronous Generator
The team is designing, simulating and implementing closed-loop frequency control on a small power generator located in the University of Idaho Advanced Power Lab. The control-loop governs the existing system such that it dynamically responds as if it were a different, larger generator powered by hydroelectric, steam, or gas.
Arm and hand mobility assistance, monitoring and rehabilitation
Three projects were developed during a new ME Technical Elective on Assistive Technologies for Physical Impairment: 1) improved hand-opening assistance via modification of a commercially-available SaeboFlex, 2) development of a wearable sensing device for arm use monitoring, and 3) finger and thumb rehabilitation training module for use with U of I's PARTNER robot.
ASCE Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge
The Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge on display were entered into design competitions held at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Pacific Northwest Student Conference in April at the University of Idaho. Some 400 students from universities and colleges from Alaska, Washington, Idaho and Oregon participated.
Automated Synchronous Generator Black Start System
When power goes out, generator field current must be supplied by batteries to re-start before reverting to using the generator itself to power field excitation; this is a black-start. We designed and implemented a black-start system for the generator in GJ Lab and modeled it in Real Time Digital Simulation.
The goal of this project is to use the Commercial-Off-The-Shelf (COTS) autonomous robot platform and add inter-robot communication and autonomy to perform cooperative tasks.
Avista Microgrid Automated Generator Controller Design
To design and model an automated generator controller for two hydro-generators operating in an emergency micro-grid scenario.
Band-Beesten: Codename Ivory
Project Ivory combines principles of Mechanical and Computer Engineering to create a Mobile Instrument Component for the Sound of Idaho Marching Band by incorporating a well-wired drivetrain, a modular piano and excellent showmanship for a spectacular half-time show.
The goal is to create a battery pack which can charge within 2 minutes and then use that power to recharge a phone. It will be compact and easy to move around, making it a great fit for people on the go with not a lot of time to spare.
Bio-diesel Reactor Innovation
The University of Idaho has been a pioneer in producing bio-fuels and developing better methods for many years. Currently, the process is outdated and unsafe. Our task is to add heat and introduce chemicals in a safer and more accurate way.
Boeing Workstation to Hold Various Rib Sizes for Assembly Operations
Create a modular workstation that can be scaled to grip and manipulate ribs ranging from 5'-17' in length for light assembly work. A complete workstation includes lighting and tool balancers, as well as design considerations for ease of use and ergonomics.
As a large and growing urban area, the city of Boise, Idaho and surrounding towns have established a greenbelt along the Boise River from Lucky Peak Reservoir to Eagle, ID. The team was tasked with designing an undeveloped path section that included two tunnels, retaining walls and pathway design.
CLEAN Ideas: Removal of Pharmaceuticals from Wastewater for Human Consumption.
Reuse of wastewater is becoming a necessity in regions with limited access to water. A two column filtration and Activated Carbon-Ozone reactor system has been designed to clean wastewater effluent and remove unregulated pharmaceuticals from solution. This makes wastewater effluent potable for potential reuse in the drinking supply.
Cryogenic Recycling of Haul Truck Tires
Open-pit mines generate thousands of waste tires each year that are mostly buried on-site, posing various environmental hazards. Although recycling possibilities exist, most are infeasible due to isolated mining locations. A mobile system paired with cryogenics to make recycling opportunities feasible for mine sites was developed.
DeVlieg Innovation Project — Compressor/Tank and Electrolyzer: Personalized Hydrogen Cell Refueling Station
This project is a compressor and tank design for a personalized hydrogen cell refueling station. The compressor and tank prototypes are run using nitrogen gas for proof of concept. The compressor pressurizes from 15 psi to 500 psi. The tank then cools the gas to a liquid. The project also includes an electrolysis chamber for a personalized hydrogen cell refueling station. It uses a membrane reactor to convert water into hydrogen gas through electrolysis. It produces half a mole per second of hydrogen which would theoretically be input into a compressor to be liquefied.
DeVlieg Innovation Project — Determining the Effects of Swabbing Woodwind Mouthpieces
Many saxophone and clarinet players have differing opinions on whether it is harmful to swab mouthpieces after playing their instrument. This project tests whether swabbing causes any physical damage to the mouthpiece or causes enough damage to change the tone produced by the mouthpiece.
A design focused on the packaging of two motorcycle engines to one transmission. Decreasing the engine envelope and allowing for a tighter and more efficient use of engine space.
Environmental Engineering Research Laboratory Demonstration/Exhibition
Graduate and undergraduate students from the Environmental Engineering Laboratory in the Civil Engineering Department will showcase and discuss U of I research activities related to resource recovery from wastewater.
EWB-U of I Water Supply Project Water for Families "Where There is Nothing"
Humanitarian Engineering Corps (formerly Engineers Without Borders) — U of I is working with the indigenous community of Carani, Bolivia on a sustainable water supply project to improve access to water and water quality in Carani. In August 2016, we will build a pipeline and water storage tank to serve part of Carani.
Fleet Service Responder — Redefining Troubleshooting of Enterprise Printers
Design and develop an application that provides service acknowledgement for discovered issues for HP printers. This application will assist the user by getting an immediate response from a technician and will provide value to a business by improving client relations and providing quick recovery of a failed system.
Flight Management and Data Acquisition System for a Dynamically-Scaled Model Airplane
Full-scale test airplanes are expensive to build. Our team has created a dynamically scaled model that flies like a full-scale Kodiak aircraft. Our on-board data acquisition/management system collects data from the model's sensors during flight. These can be validated against sensors on the full-scale aircraft.
FlyCAM — Flywheel Control and Monitoring
A storage system of any kind is useless without a control interface. Our user-friendly design allows for precise control of Idaho's Flywheel Energy Storage System. Additionally, it provides intuitive monitoring of the Flywheel's performance.
Heat Exchanger Tube Removal Technology
Develop an extraction process for heat exchanger tubes that have failed during production and are detected by performing a leak test. The end goal is to reduce the waste of the whole heat exchanger when the tube has split and it is unable to be removed.
Heavy Metal Trap
This sampler design will monitor harmful and volatile organometallic molecules in river and lake beds. Organometallics occur naturally, and the rate of generation depends on the amount of heavy metal in the sediments. This sampler was designed to measure the evolution rate of these gases, as well as trap them to be analyzed at a lab offsite.
How Water Explodes!
Civil Engineering students will demonstrate a water hammer (and other marvels of the hydraulic world) A water hammer is a pressure surge caused when a fluid in motion is forced to stop or abruptly change.
Humetrics Series 1
Humetrics Series 1 uses a thermoelectric cooling system and bubbler chamber to control temperature and humidity of a fixed volume chamber. The goal of this project is to control temperature and humidity to minimize controller response time.
Improvement of Lead-Acid Battery Performance with Conductive Ceramic Fibers Using a Recycled Tire Feedstock
Tires were used as a feedstock to deposit a highly conductive carbon matrix onto ceramic fibers. Those fibers were incorporated into lead acid battery positive plates, increasing the overall performance of the battery through increased positive-plate active material utilization.
Increasing Battery Performance Using Coated Glass Microspheres
Using the bulk electrolyte storage of porous hollow glass microspheres and coating them with the highly conductive carbon from the University of Idaho Thermalized Asphalt Reaction (GUITAR) to improve battery performance. The goal was to optimize the process of making enough GUITAR coated PHGM's to test battery plates, compare with today's battery technology and design a full-scale production plant.
Innovate Heat Recovery for a Power Converter
To improve the efficiency of a power converter using Thermal Electric Generators coupled with a Two-phase steam cycle to dissipate and harness waste heat. The waste heat is then turned into electrical energy to provide isolated power to the control system.
Innovative Mechanical Flue Gas Separator
The innovative mechanical flue gas separator, inspired by Vorsana's patent, is an environmentally friendly and non-chemical alternative to flue gas separators currently on the market. This separator uses pure mechanical forces to separate pollutants in the flue gas. Extensive prototype tests were conducted to verify the effectiveness of this method.
Integrated Rocket Ramjet
Design and model an integrated rocket ramjet. The engine transitions without sacrificial parts from the rocket to the ramjet stage upon reaching the design speed. Key features include a sealing inlet and a liquid fuel ignition source that doubles as a barrier to shield components from the solid rocket propellant.
Invent Idaho — A Smart Parking Indication System
A smart parking indication system can guide a driver to find a parking spot easily in a open and busy parking lot, which will save fuels, reduce car emission and danger to pedestrians. The system is a low cost solution and easy to be implemented on an existing parking lot such as Costco and Walmart etc.
Invent Idaho — Forest Defender
Forest Defender is a system designed to protect forests, homes and communities from devastating wildfires. An irrigation system built to make a wall of protection while seamlessly blending into the forest disguised at native trees.
Invent Idaho — Healing Our Veterans
An adaptation of current technology, using the concepts of neuroscience, to create a low cost, easily available, private and simple tool to assist veterans with PTSD.
Invent Idaho — Lighten Up
Lighten up is an invention that clips into a lampshade and allows the lamp to power itself by using its own light as an energy source.
Invent Idaho — Say It and Play It
This game is intended to help visual spatial learners learn musical notes through fun, Crayola-created playing characters and playing cards. Often, young students of music are turned off by regular flash cards, but learning music is essential for all students in helping the brain develop.
Invent Idaho — The No Pressure Ballet Bar
Detects pressure placed on ballet bar and glows when there is too much pressure. Works as an aide to teach proper muscle control in ballet/barre practice.
Lightening Creek Warming Hut
This project involved designing a warming hut for winter back country travelers in the Idaho Panhandle National Forest. The hut has a footprint of 20'x40' and a maximum height of 18'. The only source of heat is a fire-pit with ventilation hood and chimney. The structure is uninsulated, has no plumbing or electricity, and the floor is gravel. A separate pre-cast pit latrine will be installed on site by the Forest Service.
ME 301 & ME 401 Course Projects
Computer aided design students share their work on semester projects. Projects include topics such as advanced modeling, rendering, testing, collaborative design and simulation.
Measurement of Human Trunk Stiffness and Stability
Continued development of a device designed to measure axial and torsional stiffness in the core muscles of the human body. Gathered data will be used to associate muscle reaction patterns with changes in mobility due to age, height, weight, neurological disorders and other psycho-physical factors.
NEWater Biochar Injection System
With a growing need for clean water and reusable resources, the Biochar Filtration system allows for us to effectively create both. We have been tasked with creating a mixing and injection system that will accurately dose Biochar into the cleaning system that can be altered for larger scale if necessary.
Operation General Converter Start-up
Team Kill-A-Watt will design and build an innovative way of starting the NAVY's 250kW general power converter. Our final design will start the converter using an input between 100Vrms and 600Vrms, AC or DC, and run for the first few minutes while the converter warms up to the point where team HEET's thermo-electric generators can take over with self-sustained operation.
Redesigning the Satellite Telemetry Board
The NASA Ames Research Center is responsible for various cube satellites, suborbital experiments and high altitude balloons. The goal of this project is to design a new revision of a circuit board that both enables a modem to connect to the internet and supports auxiliary equipment for NASA's activities.
Red-Yellow-Green: An Insider's Guide to Traffic Signals
Civil Engineering students will demonstrate the 'art and engineering' of designing traffic signalling.
Rehabilitation Training System
We are building a software that helps occupational therapists with the rehabilitation process of a stroke patient. With the software the therapist can create game based routines that support and accelerate the patient's recovery. Having game based routines makes the process more engaging and motivates the patient to practice more.
Rifle Scope Impact Testing Device for Nightforce Optics
Currently Nightforce Optics manual impacts each scope that goes through the line, our mission was to make this process automatic. We developed an automatic pendulum to consistent hit the scope. Which can apply different forces depending on the operator's needs. It improved safety and decreases human error.
In collaboration with WSU Electrical and Computer Science Engineers, this team of four U of I Mechanical Engineers work to design, build and test a fully autonomous submarine. The rover will compete at the International ROBOsub competition in San Diego, California, where it will traverse through an underwater obstacle course.
Robotic Burrow Exploration
We have designed a robot to explore and map the burrows of pygmy rabbits and burrowing owls. The robot is controlled from a PC and sends video back to the operator. A suite of sensors allows the robot to measure the burrow as it explores.
Robotically Assisted Manufacturing Cell
Hundreds of nut plate assemblies are built everyday using human labor. In addition to contributing to workplace injury, these tasks can result in the accumulation of process errors. This project aims to create an automated work cell using an industrial robot which can tirelessly and consistently perform these assembly tasks.
With an increasing need for fresh water, new low-energy and cost-efficient green technology to extract salt from water has become attractive. Our team uses electrical fields and high surface area nanomaterials to create a lossy capacitor that separates the sodium and chlorine ions.
Snowmobile Traction Control
Design a control system and electro-mechanical interface to implement drive-by-wire, launch control and traction control on the U of I CSC competition snowmobile.
Substation in a Box
The goal of this project is to build an interactive demo unit for Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories Industrial Control System security classes. The end product will be a simple substation with an easy to read visualization that responds to a variety of security scenarios.
Superconductive Levitating Flywheel System
The University of Idaho Flywheel Energy Storage System is a magnetically levitated and controlled field regulated reluctance machine. Functioning as both a motor and a generator, this vacuum enclosed machine experiences virtually no frictional losses. Thus, it is perfect for long-term energy storage, a critical step towards future moon colonization.
The Many Faces of Civil Engineering
Do you know what Civil Engineers do? Society would collapse without their work in everything from building bridges to making sure the water we drink is safe and tasty! Come by and meet students who are CE majors at U of I!
We are building an informational kiosk in the south entrance of the Janssen Engineering Building at the University of Idaho, using a projected wall-sized touchscreen.
University of Idaho Clean Snowmobile Challenge
The technologies that the CSC team develops are to improve fuel efficiency, emissions, make a quieter snowmobile, while creating over 100 horsepower.
University of Idaho Formula Hybrid Team
The University of Idaho Formula Hybrid Team is comprised of both undergraduate and graduate students. We design, manufacture and test a formula hybrid race car to compete in the international Formula Hybrid competition. The object of this competition is to create the fastest, most efficient and most reliable race car.
University of Idaho Industrial Assessment Center
The IAC team conducts energy audits for small and medium manufactures at no cost, identifying opportunities to improve productivity, reduce waste and save energy. The booth and presentation this year focus on a lighting transition case study. Come see the effects of light and energy!
Using Magnetic Nanoparticles to Clean Acidic Mine Drainage Water
Acidic drainage from abandoned mines can be harmful to the environment and toxic to life. Systems currently used to treat the drainage can be overwhelmed by seasonal increases from snow melt. This system will use plates coated with magnetic nanoparticles to adsorb iron and other contaminants near the source, providing a buffer to primary treatment systems.
Web Based Security Hardening Guides
A cloud based repository of multi-platform security guides for non-technical users. The project is self-contained: anyone can create their own instance of the system.
World Record Party Wheel
We created a 6-foot diameter spinning machine that is capable of displaying LED images from across the Kibbie Dome Stadium. This world record breaking machine will be used by the Idaho marching band to enrich the vandal game day experience.