Chemical Engineering Wins Big at Senior Design Symposium

senior design symposium winning group

For senior engineering students, the Senior Design Symposium (SDS) is the culmination of an entire year of planning, designing and putting together ideas to build their final project before graduating. SDS also acts as a link to the public to promote interest in STEM and increase awareness of the successes of the College of Engineering and its students.

In its second year, SDS became more than a showcase for student projects. This year 44 groups competed for individual department awards with the hope to become crowned Grand Champion of the event. With a wide-array of projects ranging from concepts for crude oil expansions for local refineries in chemical engineering to a washing machine built for space in mechanical engineering, there was no shortage of interesting projects on display.

Individual department winners came from faculty judges from each department, they were: Ethanol Fermentation, Distillation and Recovery, Chemical Engineering; Erosion Mitigation at FM 787 and the Trinity River, Civil and Environmental Engineering; Spherical Robot, Electrical Engineering; Routing Optimization for FedEx, Industrial Engineering; and TSGC-11 Alternative Sanitation Methods for Long Duration Space Missions, Mechanical Engineering.

In addition to departmental winners, each selected honorable mention projects that stood out, including: BMS-CJS Expansion Team, Chemical; Touch Screen for Ophelia, Electrical; Electronic Tray with Communications, Electrical; MATE ROV Underwater Robotics, Mechanical; Theo Jansen Walking Machine, Mechanical; and SAE Mini Baja, Mechanical.

Five judges, representing each department from various industries, spent time circling each project to determine which would be named Grand Champion. After much debate, the group chose Ethanol Fermentation, Distillation and Recovery from Chemical Engineering as the winning team. Team members include: Team Leader Aaron Gauthier, Micah Murdock, Chad Miller, Chris Cheek, and Chase Pinder. This is the first SDS win for the Dan F. Department of Chemical Engineering. Previous winners include the SAE Mini Baja Car team in 2016, who created a dune buggy to compete in the Gorman, California against over 100 universities from North America.