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Engineering Design Expo offers look at future

By Lauren Keyser
psychology/communication ’15

A typical college visit involves walking around the campus with a student who is paid to be a tour guide. Now, Trine University students have developed a robot who will take people on a tour, giving audio information relevant to the location, avoiding obstacles, and even climbing stairs. This is just one of the 37 innovative projects that will be on display at the 13th Annual Engineering Design Expo.

Another useful and inventive project to see is the off-road wheelchair. A team of senior engineering students saw the need to create a wheelchair with off-road capabilities that will not damage indoor floors. The chair is compliant with Americans with Disabilities (ADA) standards, meaning it will fit in doorways of a typical home or business. This, as well as other projects on display, was designed at Trine to meet a real-world need.

“These ambitious projects are a tangible way of showing how students apply classroom learning to the real world,” said VK Sharma, dean of the Allen School of Engineering & Technology. “I hope everyone gets an opportunity to see what the future holds when it comes to engineering solutions.”

Senior engineering students have worked in teams to produce a design project using their knowledge in a specific area, such as biomedical, bioprocess, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, environmental or mechanical engineering or design engineering technology. All projects will be on display from 1 to 3 p.m. Friday, April 24, in Fawick Hall, home of the Allen School of Engineering & Technology, and The Jim and Joan Bock Center for Innovation and Biomedical Engineering.

Industrial partners are Alum-Elec Structures, Inc.; American Concrete Institute; American Institute for Steel Construction; Benteler Automotive; Buhrt Engineering, Inc.; DeerSpace, LLC; Dekalb Molded Plastics; Erie Haven Concrete; Flare, Inc.; Garcia Surveyors, Inc.; Holland Custom Signs; JB Tool and Die Engineering; Jerry Allen, Conduit Space Recovery Systems, LLC; LaGrange County Regional Utility District; MORryde International (Elkhart); Pokagon State Park; Raybend; Speedway Redi Mix, Inc.; S & T Auto Body, Inc.; Sauder Manufacturing Co.; Vestil; Warsaw Engineering and Fabricating and Wawasee Slip, Inc.