Summer 2023 Capstone Design Mini-Expo

USAF Sponsored Teams Win Top Prizes at Capstone Design Mini-Expo

July 28, 2023
By Chloe Arrington

GripGuardians and F-15 LED Exterior Lights were awarded first and second place respectively at the Summer 2023 Georgia Tech Capstone Design Mini-Expo held on July 25. Both teams were sponsored by the United States Air Force (USAF) F-15 Systems Program Office (SPO), and the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN) and were tasked with improving current F-15 technology. 

Capstone Design is a culminating course offered to undergraduate students at Georgia Tech where students work in teams to design, build, and test prototypes with real-world applications. The course also provides students the opportunity to work with industry sponsors. At the end of each semester, students showcase their efforts at the Capstone Design Expo.

This semester, all students were matched up with additional expert consultants including staff members Ashley Andrews, Jacob Blevins, Kinsey Herrin, and Jake Tompkins, to help each team with their projects. The winning teams also received support from staff in the ME Electronics Lab, who helped students outside of regular office hours.

First-place team GripGuardians included students Diego Garcia, Shannon McGrane, Rahul Pradeep, Matthew Simpson, Nathan Worku, and Patrick Wishard. They were tasked with redesigning an anti-skid inspection system to address various issues including the length of time the inspection takes, the need for multiple technicians, and the need to match simulation parameters. 

The team’s solution proved successful by minimizing the personnel required by 63%, decreasing inspection time by 63%, decreasing the cost of the inspection by 75%, and improving the accuracy of the tire RPM match for skid simulation.

Summer 2023 Capstone Design Mini-Expo
Summer 2023 Capstone Design Mini-Expo

Second place team F-15 LED Exterior Lights included students William Barclay, Mark Grove, Benjamin Hanfland, and Brayden Jenks. They were challenged with designing a power supply for an F-15 aircraft capable of withstanding all stages and factors of flight including heat and vibration. The team's objective was to replace incandescent bulbs, which have an average operational duration of 100 hours, with LED lights that would last for 10,000 hours.  

The team was able to fabricate a successful prototype at twenty times less than the requested cost. Their solution would also decrease maintenance costs and eradicate 99 out of 100 lighting module replacements. 

Additional teams who presented their projects at the Mini-Expo included: 

  • Get A Grip, who designed a user-friendly handheld grip trainer that properly reflects grip form for performance gains for rock climbers.  
  • Klean, who developed a 2-in-1 hand and smart device sanitation station.  
  • The Carrot Doggers, who developed an automated carrot reshaper for Carrot Dog ATL, a small business specializing in vegan hot dogs made of carrots.
  • LSW, who developed a trash can to separate solid waste from liquid waste to help eliminate environmental problems and safety hazards commonly encountered in industrial and manufacturing settings. 

Students enrolled in the Capstone Design course weren't the only ones in the spotlight at the event. Also recognized were seven local high school students who completed an internship with the Flowers Invention Studio this summer. During the internship, they received training on tools and worked with student leadership on studio improvement projects focused on post-processing and recycling 3D prints. In addition, the interns were given the opportunity to learn more about the engineering design process by attending the Capstone Design Mid-Summer Presentation and Mini-Expo, where they each received a certificate of completion.

A photo gallery from the Summer 2023 Georgia Tech Capstone Design Mini-Expo can be viewed on Flickr.

As a new semester approaches, the Woodruff School is looking to collaborate with external partners on projects for the Fall 2023 Capstone Design course. For more information on how to participate, visit

Summer 2023 Capstone Design Mini-Expo
Summer 2023 Capstone Design Mini-Expo
Summer 2023 Capstone Design Mini-Expo