Engineering Days draws attention to CU’s engineering department as students display their projects and host fun activities.
Engineering Days were celebrated Apr. 19-23 with two design expos on Friday and Saturday. This is an annual celebration of the engineering profession, and is organized by the University of Colorado Engineering Council, as well as other student honors societies.
Events included a carnival, a water rocket launch, a high school and engineering favorite, the egg drop for college students.
At the design expos, there were various hands-on design projects on display for the public to see. Engineering students were divided up into teams and asked to create a multitude of inventions, which were then judged by a panel of judges.
On Friday, the Mechanical Engineering Capstone Design Expo was open to the public from 11:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in the UMC Glenn Miller Ballroom. There were about two dozen senior and graduate mechanical engineering design teams at this expo, displaying their yearlong industry-sponsored projects. Among these displays there were examples of biomedical engineering as well as innovative energy solutions.
On Saturday, the festivities continued with the second design expo, the Engineering Design Expo. This showcased around 60 projects designed by undergraduate engineering teams. The different categories of technology on display included assistive technology for people who are handicapped and those with disabilities, new energy solutions, and computer science innovations.
Thomas Benning, a 22-year-old senior mechanical engineering major, was a contestant in the second engineering design expo and said that this was his second time to showcase at the event.
“As seniors, we have to register for space to compete at the expo,” Benning said. “Then we sign up to work with a company of our choice. My group ended up getting a task from the Integrated Teaching and Learning Laboratory to do a project involving a magnetic fluid called ferrofluid.”
Harry McElroy, a 20-year-old sophomore civil engineering major, said his group was asked to create a passive solar water heater for a school in Langey, Peru.
“In Langey, they have the highest solar radiation in the world, but there’s no electricity,” McElroy said. “We were commissioned by the principal of an elementary school in Langey to make this water heater. Our test results were very good, the water inside the heater reached over 200 degrees fahrenheit and the goal was to get it to reach around 104 degrees fahrenheit.”
An interesting aspect about these engineering expos was the personal relationships that were formed between the design teams and their prospective clients.
Eric Petrie, a 21-year-old sophomore aerospace engineering major, said that his group’s project was more than just an assignment. Their goal was to build a bicycle for a four year-old boy with cerebral palsy. They attached a seat to the back of a mountain bike that allowed the boy to sit in a recombinant position with the option of either pedaling or coasting. The disabled boy, Hunter, and his parents attended the expo to see Petrie’s group’s design.
“Seeing Hunter ride the bike made all of our hard work worth it,” Petrie said. “It was a magical moment.”
The results of the competition will be posted on the CU Engineering Counsel website later this week.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Jillian Phillips at Jillian.email@example.com.