Lug Nuts and Hair Dyes Bring Ingenuity to Capstone Design Expo

A lug nut starter that can save time on assembly lines took home the grand prize at the Fall 2013 Capstone Design Expo, the biannual smorgasbord of engineering and design projects. 

Created by six mechanical engineering (ME) majors collectively known as All Torqued Up and supported by General Motors, the device can quickly place a lug nut on a tire so that workers can use a more powerful torque gun to tighten it. The team won $2,000, and its members – Jeremiah Roberts, Pill Alexander, Chris Gintoli, Jordan Mazaira, Eric Vande Ven and Jeremy Wooten – hooted when All Torqued Up was announced as overall winner.

Georgia Tech’s Capstone Design Expo features projects from undergraduates’ senior design courses, in which they work in teams to research problems, create prototypes, and offer solutions. Held Dec. 5 at McCamish Pavilion, the Fall Expo showcased the work of 130 teams from multiple engineering and design fields.

During the four-hour event, about 3,800 people strolled through the facility to check out an automated toy sanitizer, a hair dye that can be safely used by pregnant women, and a robotic hand that mimics a user’s movement via a Microsoft Kinect. Because each major present has its own award category, several top creations can shine. 

The most heavily represented fields at the Fall Expo are typically ME, biomedical engineering (BME), electrical and computer engineering (ECE), and industrial design. This semester, though, students studying industrial and systems engineering (ISyE) participated too, making the Fall event one of the largest capstone expos at any university.

“It’s so wonderful to see the Georgia Tech community coming together to celebrate the inventive and entrepreneurial spirit in our graduating seniors,” said Assistant Professor Craig Forest, who helps coordinate the event.

Seniors spend an entire semester working on their projects, often partn

ering with industry and research sponsors to seek solutions to real-world challenges. By studying doctors’ schedules, for example, a team of ISyE majors helped the Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center boost patient satisfaction and save money.

Some of the work on display was supported by local entrepreneurs. ME’s Team Chill, supported by Tim Harrington, developed a product for serving wine at the proper temperature of 62 degrees. This team is now considering partnering with Harrington and taking their product to market.

A few projects were conceived in an interdisciplinary course that paired ME students with architecture and industrial design majors. The Eye in the Sky team – two ME and two industrial design majors – presented work on body-gesture control for unmanned aerial vehicles. The interdisciplinary award winner, Inovein, was Georgia Tech's first ever ME-BME-ECE team (also supported by entrepreneurial firm, DKF Investments, LLC.)

“The whole class,” said The Eye in the Sky team member Rajitha Siyasena, “revolves around the fact that we can make anything we want.”

Some teams came together for fun! The 3+1 team (consisting of three MEs and one architecture student), which presented a musical tile floor. The group members, who all play instruments, said they came together through their mutual love of music. These students were enrolled in an interdisciplinary course called Design/Think/Make/Do, and while they weren't officially competing in the Expo, they presented and explained their projects at McCamish as well.

Winners

Mechanical engineering prize: Stringineers

Gowtham Govind, Dhrumil Desai, Juan Melian, Michael Fogg, John Coker, Jordan Thomas-Green

for tennis shops and frequent tennis players, the Rambler Tennis Weaver automates the most time-consuming part of stringing, which is the weaving, pulling, and clamping process of the cross strings (supported by Autodesk)

 

Industrial design prize: Team Okabashi

Andrea Hunt, Taylor Johns, Josh Mittelman

a system for assembling 2 part sandals, supported by Okabashi, a local sandal producer who currently assembles them by hand

 

Electrical and computer engineering prize: Tube Amp Group

Adam Bowen, Matthias Denu, Nathan Minor, Anup Omprakash, David Turner

an analog amp combing the authentic sound of a fully analog tube guitar amplifier with the versatility and programmability of a digital guitar amplifier

 

Industrial and systems engineering prize: To be determined at an ISyE competition, finalists include -

Team Coca-Cola Refreshments

Erinn Manby, Drew Downey, Meredeth Freeman, Kevin Jamison, Sahil Ramakrishnan, Natalie Souther, Max Tanski

optimizing inventory levels at three bottling plants by implementing new ordering policies for the raw materials (supported by Coca-Cola Refreshments)

The Home Depot

Lauren Kley, Drew Keller, Michael Gilkenson, Bryce Ferguson, Robert Faulk, Silvana Vivanco, Jing Mei Ho, Melanie Ostis

improving labor allocation and process flow at The Home Depot paint desk through a simulation model and labor scheduling tool

United Soft Plastics

Yash Dabriwal, Po-Hsian Wang, Patrick Koehler, Chang Woong Yoon, Patrick Chen, Dylan Arnold, Cathy Nguyen, John Kincheloe

improving the order fulfillment process by eliminating quality issues, late shipments, and improving internal processes

 

Biomedical Engineering prize: Tie between -

Motor Mouth

Charles Kane, Robert Kretschmar, Tim Leigh, Maggie Matheny

a dynamic jaw repositioning device that uses biofeedback to help sufferers of sleep apnea

Thoracic Park

Hilary Lynch, Keval Tilva, Arun Kumar, Harrison Bartlett

a minimally invasive method for repairing mitral valve deformation in the heart, a contributing cause of heart failure

 

Interdisciplinary prize: Inovein

Virginia Lin, Doug Derito, Chris Harless, Andy Lustig, Rachel Moore

device aids nurses in placing needles into neonatal infants for IV line installation and blood draws (supported by DKF Investments, LLC)

 

People’s Choice prize: The Home Depot

Lauren Kley, Drew Keller, Michael Gilkenson, Bryce Ferguson, Robert Faulk, Silvana Vivanco, Jing Mei Ho, Melanie Ostis

improving labor allocation and process flow at The Home Depot paint desk through a simulation model and labor scheduling tool

 

Grand prize: All Torqued Up

Jeremiah Roberts, Pill Alexander, Chris Gintoli, Jordan Mazaira, Eric Vande Ven and Jeremy Wooten

device puts a lug nut onto a tire hub in order for a factory line operator to use a more powerful torque gun to tighten it completely (supported by General Motors)

 

Writer: Lyndsey Lewis
Photos: Candler Hobbs - full Flickr set