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Winners of Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design

Daniel Medrano, Madison Elizabeth Cooper, Jarod C. Weber, Dani McEachern and Gabriella Romano celebrate winning the Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design at the College of Engineering's 2018 Design Day.

Seniors Step Up at Engineering Design Day 2018

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Seniors Step Up at Engineering Design Day 2018

A device to simplify orthopedic surgery takes the top prize in a day full of incredible inventions.

Hot dogs, laser beams and drone-based technologies abounded at the University of Arizona College of Engineering’s 2018 Engineering Design Day. But at the end of the day, it was a device to help people stand on their own two feet that came out on top.

Team 17079 received the first place Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design for their project “Laser-guided ankle positioning for total ankle arthroplasty.” The procedure for total ankle arthroplasty, or ankle replacement, usually involves fixing metal to both a patient’s ankle and shin to ensure the ankle is properly aligned with the hip. The team’s less invasive system eliminates the need for a second site of trauma by using a laser to line up the ankle and hip instead.

“This could open doorways to rethink the way we do orthopedic surgery,” said mechanical engineering team member Daniel Medrano.

Design Day winners
Students celebrating after the Design Day 2018 awards ceremony.

The team faced plenty of challenges. Dr. Daniel Latt of the College of Medicine agreed to do two mock surgeries using the team’s device, but identifying and using an orthopedic surgeon’s spare time wasn’t easy. Neither was keeping track of the changes to 13 separate custom-made pieces. Team member Gabriella Romano’s house was even robbed, with one of the team’s brand-new prototypes among the stolen items. Despite challenge after challenge, the team was proud to say the final product exceeded all of their expectations.

“I loved it,” said biomedical engineering senior Dani McEachern. “I couldn’t have asked for a better project.”

With $35,000 in cash prizes awarded, nearly 600 participating senior engineering students and more than 120 industry judges -- many of them University of Arizona alumni -- the College and the Engineering Design Program couldn’t have asked for a better day, either.

Day of the drones
Members of team 17003 pose with their low-cost unmanned aircraft-based lidar scanning system.

“This is the best day of the year,” said College of Engineering Acting Dean Larry Head. “Not only are we excited to welcome back dozens of loyal sponsors to support student projects, but this year we have 19 new sponsors at the biggest Engineering Design Day in UA history.”

Above and Beyond

Many design teams were so dedicated to their projects that they chose to exceed the project requirements set out by their sponsors.

Team 17037 created a system to test landing gear bearings created by sponsor company RBC Sargent Aerospace and Defense. Their turnkey system won them an honorable mention in the Frank Broyles Engineering Ethics Award, and RBC Sargent will use the system at its Tucson location as an example to other shops on how to test bearings.

The team’s attention to detail also earned it the Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona Award for Best Design Documentation. Their table was covered in sleek binders: a proposal, a concept of operations, a system requirements document, a final report, a maintenance requirements report and a technical data package with stats for the device’s approximately 200 parts -- including 23 the team members made themselves.

“To go from a paragraph of requirements to this, we’ve been working nonstop the entire semester,” said systems engineering senior Christopher Zurita.

Team 17051 was tasked with creating a proof-of-concept for a digital distress-signaling system using all open-source software, which could be used by the U.S. Coast Guard. Not only does sponsor General Dynamics plan to take the system to the Coast Guard to demonstrate the potential cost savings in using nonproprietary software, but the team also won the Microsoft Award for Best System Software Design.

Hot dog on a chip
Team 17063 with their device that coats open-frame printed circuit boards in epoxy to prevent IP theft, or -- for Design Day -- coated hot dogs in ketchup to prevent hunger.

Team 17063, which won second prize in the Frank Broyles Engineering Ethics Award, developed an improved system for Apex Microtechnology to guard against IP theft. Using the company’s current method of covering their open-frame circuit boards in an opaque epoxy, the team was able to reduce the time it takes to apply the epoxy to each circuit board from two minutes to 10 seconds. They demonstrated the device using hotdogs as circuit boards and ketchup as epoxy and served up 10-second snacks at Design Day.

Ready for the Workforce

UA alumnus Scott Rowland, a mechanical engineering manager at Orbital ATK, was both a project sponsor and judge at Design Day. Spending a year with engineering seniors acts as an effective interview process, he said, noting his disappointment that some of the students he was working with had post-graduation jobs lined up before he could hire them himself.

“It really speaks well of the market and the program here that all these students are finding jobs,” he said. “I think the curriculum at UA is superior.”

The whole process of senior design looks like a little mirror of the process in industry."
Design Day 2018 360 Video

Laura Barajas, a member of a Honeywell-sponsored team that designed a dust filtration system for air bearings, agreed the lessons she’d learned through working on the project were invaluable.

“It definitely helped us prepare for the workforce -- our communication skills, our presentation skills, our technical skills and the terminology we learned along the way,” said the materials science and engineering senior. “The whole process of senior design looks like a little mirror of the process in industry.”

The Honeywell Award for Team Leadership went to Austin Ziska and Erica Rao. Rao’s team created a piece of equipment sponsor Southwest Gas will use to remove gas from the ground after a leak, and also received second prize in the Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use. The company plans to test the device on a real gas leak next week.

To the sky
A student on team 17041 demonstrates the multifrequency antenna mast system for large mining trucks his team created for Caterpillar.

“Today has been my favorite part of the Engineering Design Program,” said Rao, a mechanical engineering senior. “Being able to stand up and say, ‘This is what we accomplished. This is what we did.’ And knowing how happy the sponsor is with our product is so gratifying.”

Nitin Patel, a UA alumnus and instrumentation supervisor at Caterpillar said he loves the interdisciplinary nature of his alma mater’s engineering design program, because it allows students with different areas of expertise to team up to solve problems.

“We’ve had UA senior design students do projects for our facility in the past that we’ve gone on to hire, and I’ve always been very impressed with their quality and their work ethics,” he said. “For this project, I wanted five or six of the best engineers I could get – I didn’t care what their backgrounds were. Being an engineer means you’re working outside the box all the time.”

Design Day 2018 Awards and Winners

Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design (First Prize) -- $5,000
Laser-Guided Ankle Positioning for Total Ankle Arthroplasty
Design team: Madison Elizabeth Cooper, Dani McEachern, Daniel Medrano, Gabriella Romano, Jarod C. Weber
Project sponsor: Paragon 28

PayPal Award for Best Overall Design (Second Prize) -- $2,500
Commercial Unmanned Aircraft Parachute System
Design team: Abdulmajed Almodhabri, Keenan Heller, Steve Miller, Christian Oropeza, Nicholas Paul Patzke, Jonathon Ji-Su Seo Rea
Project sponsor: O-Chute

Microsoft Award for Best System Software Design -- $2,500
Web-Based Interface for Digital Maritime Distress
Design team: Dennis A. Hardy, Michael P. Harmon, Derek McMullen, Carlos Perez, Muhammad Bilal Rao
Project sponsor: General Dynamics

Frank Broyles Engineering Ethics Award, First Prize -- $1,500
Enteral Feeding Low-Profile Gastrostomy Tube Medical Device
Design team: Jaime Guillermo Arenas, Duffy Elmer, Branson Hughes Grieser, Cheyenne Quinn Moffett, Amber Rose Rodriguez, Gillian Sweeney
Project sponsor: Xeridiem Medical Devices

Frank Broyles Engineering Ethics Award, Second Prize -- $750
Automated Intellectual Property Protection of Open-Frame Printed Circuit Boards
Design team: Gabrielle Casini, Broderick R. Krager, Duncan A. Reed, Wei Ren, Guillermo Silva Rosas
Project sponsor: Apex Microtechnology

Frank Broyles Engineering Ethics Award, Honorable Mention
Landing Gear Bearing Test Machine
Design team: Gregory Anthony Abbott, Walker I. Ellwood, Nicholas Holloway, Lukas Merkle, Christopher William Zurita
Project sponsor: RBC Sargent Aerospace & Defense

Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use, First Prize -- $1,500
Archimedes Screw Pump for Algae Reactor Recirculation System
Design team: Catalina Fernandez-Moores, Luis-Alejandro Garcia-Ramirez, Antonio Alberto Gutierrez-Jaramillo, Tina Thao Nguyen, Brandon B. Preciado, Hailey Alixandra Stock
Project sponsor: UA Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering

Bly Family Award for Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use, Second Prize, $500
Shallow Ground Natural Gas Aeration Improvement
Design team: Ali Ibrahim Amailou, Jamaal J. Ferguson, Nolan Tai Nguyen, Erica Nicole Rao, Christopher E. Summersgill
Project sponsor: Southwest Gas

Thorlabs Photonics is the Future Award -- $1,750
Tissue Thickness Analyzer
Design team: Jonathan J. Benavidez, Zachary Garrett, Meagan Jennifer Holmes, Jilian Nguyen, Kenneth Edward Schackart
Project sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems

Andressen Award for Design Above and Beyond -- $1,500
Advanced Mining Machine Concept
Design team: Matthew Hilton, Nathaniel Matesich, Owen David Pierce, Gaurav Sathish, Don C. Uvindra Sirimanne, Brian C. Cebrynski, Maximilian Garber, Dylan Arthur Guenther, Ivan Llancas, Duy Trong Van
Project sponsor: Caterpillar

Rincon Research Award for Best Presentation -- $1,500
Test Rig for Pressurized Bolt Joint Assemblies
Design team: Luis Bustamante, Reagan Loree DeVoe, Lisanne Hagens, Alexander Ellis Heydt, Bradley David King, Syeed Sweis
Project sponsor: Honeywell

Ventana Medical Systems Award for Innovation in Engineering -- $1,500
Wearable System for Detecting Extremity Swelling
Design team: David Johnson, Venus Slag, Jacob P. Toman-Ibarra, Jacob Wait, Gregory Wheeler
Project sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

Microsoft Fish Out of Water Award, First Prize -- $750
Cybersecurity Risk Planner
Design team: Nydia Maldonado Flores (winner), Talon Choy, Leila Karimi Hosseini, Liam Patrick Murphy
Project sponsor: General Dynamics

II-VI Optical Systems Fish Out of Water Award, Second Prize -- $500
Active Drone Denial
Design team: Zachary Wolfgang Becker (winner), Jered Bischann, Jennifer Lynn Bundy, Mitch Cohen, Bryan Serpa, Khas Ochir Sod Erdene
Project sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems

ACSS/L-3 Communications Award for Most Robust Systems Engineering -- $1,000
Low -Cost Autonomous Mobile Telemetry Platform
Design team: Clarissa Kay Morse Hill, Justin Loera, Ciaran James McGirr, Swati Munjal, Brandon Sipos
Project sponsor: Microsoft

Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona Award for Best Design Documentation -- $1,000
Landing Gear Bearing Test Machine
Design team: Gregory Anthony Abbott, Walker I. Ellwood, Nicholas Holloway, Lukas Merkle, Christopher William Zurita
Project sponsor: Sargent Aerospace & Defense

Texas Instruments Analog Design Contest Award -- $1,000
Secure Wireless Protocol
Design team: Bowen Hu, Chenrun Liu, Jake Ryan Reed, Jason Tran, Anthony M. Vega
Project sponsor: General Dynamics

TRAX International Award for Best Implementation of Agile Methodology -- $1,000
Tissue-Replacement Control Slides
Team Members: Paul Humberto Acosta, Alexander Day, Tatum Hale, Gabrielle Vanessa Hutchens, Vy Nguyen
Project sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems

Arizona Technology Council Foundation Award for Best Engineering Analysis -- $750
Production and Cost Analysis of Dimethyl Ether for Transportation
Design team: Bowen James Clark, Derek Andrew Hogue, Kubale Shamabanse, Amanda Rae Soles
Project sponsor: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Arizona Technology Council Foundation Award for Innovation in Manufacturing -- $750
Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Production
Design team: Teagan Ashley Baacke, Elijah Blue Foster, Marissa Ann Gautier, Esteban Jimenez
Project sponsor: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Edmund Optics Award for Perseverance and Recovery -- $750
Smart Museum Display Cabinet
Design team: Ryan Patrick Cosic, Robert Keller, Chuan Luo, Carlos Ogas, Charles J. Radcliffe, Michael Paul Syson
Project sponsor: GEOST

Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Award for Best Use of Prototyping -- $750
Noncontact Detection of Bioelectric Fields
Design team: Kyle James Bachelor, James Norrid Lacey, Khalid Mobarak Omer, James Samuel Pelham, Bernd Francisco Steklis
Project sponsor: UA Laboratory for the Advancement of Consciousness

RBC Sargent Aerospace & Defense Voltaire Design Award -- $1,000
Macular Degeneration Evaluation System
Design team: Erika Nicole Ackerman, Lexa Brossart, Shelley Christine Meyer, Rory Edward Morrison-Colvin, Ryan Matthew Nolcheff
Project sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

W.L. Gore & Associates Award for Most Creative Solution -- $1,250
Virtual Reality System for Analyzing Human Brain Neuronal Networks
Design team: Erica Michelle Bosset, Joseph Elliott Clark, John Maximillian DiBaise, Josiah M. McClanahan, Edward Richter, Vincent Tso
Project Sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

II-VI Optical Systems Award for Best Use of Optical Design and Technology -- $500
Imaging Pyrometer for Furnace Temperature Monitoring
Design team: John Brewer, Anthony J. Del Castillo, Nea N. Sample Hamilton, Jose C. Hernandez, Hannah Marie Rowe
Project sponsor: Control Vision, Inc.

Dataforth Corporation Award for Best Design Using a Data Acquisition and Control System -- $500
Mobile Propellant -Densification Unit for Orbital Class Launch Vehicle
Design team: Jack Christman, Yulian Yaroslav Chulovskiy, Matthew Kingzett, David Montgomery, Benito Nakane Pimienta, Shandi Spencer
Project sponsor: Vector

Honeywell Award for Excellence in Aerospace Electronic System Design -- $500
Pressure Sensor and Data-Acquisition System
Design team: Kamel Alami, Ivan Castro Ornelas, Ryan J. Nyborg, David Quezada, Xuesen Tan
Project sponsor: Honeywell

Honeywell Award for Excellence in Aerospace Mechanical System Design -- $500
Turbine Engine Frangible Bearing Support Design
Design team: Baktash Hakeemi, Jacob Lucas, Francisco Montoya, Scott Charles Rebeck, Xiangdong Xiao
Project sponsor: Honeywell

Honeywell Award for Team Leadership 1 -- $250
Solar Thermal Energy Generating System
Austin Douglas Ziska (winner), Braelyn Rose Holt, Brent Tyler Morrison, Eric Bryan Watson
Project sponsor: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Honeywell Award for Team Leadership 2 -- $250
Shallow Ground Natural Gas Aeration Improvement
Design team: Erica Nicole Rao (winner), Ali Ibrahim Amailou, Jamaal J. Ferguson, Nolan Tai Nguyen, Christopher E. Summersgill
Project sponsor: Southwest Gas

Latitude Engineering Award for Best Physical Implementation of Analytically Driven Design -- $500
Additive Heat Exchanger Characterization and Optimization
Design team: Nathan David Fier, Jaydon Michael Flori, Theodore Joseph Hastings, Mark Lopez, Jamie Vail
Project sponsor: Honeywell

Prototron Circuits Award for Best Printed Circuit Design -- $500
Low-Cost Unmanned Aircraft-Based Lidar Scanning System
Design team: Hamad Alqabandi, Lane Elizabeth Breshears, Richard A. Herriman, Daniel Inigo Gamiz, Benjamin Mark Weaver, Isaak Maxwell Willett
Project sponsor: UA Department of Agricultural & Biosystems Engineering

Cyber Warrior Award for Best Cybersecurity Design -- $500
Secure Wireless Protocol
Design team: Bowen Hu, Chenrun Liu, Jake Ryan Reed, Jason Tran, Anthony M. Vega
Project sponsor: General Dynamics