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Design Expo: December 7

Design Expo Set for December 7

The Winter 04 Design Exposition will be held at the Duderstadt Center and EECS atriums between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, December 7.

This year, the ME Department is pleased to showcase design projects from the undergraduate design and manufacturing course sequence in Mechanical Engineering (ME 250, 350, 450), the new class Analytical Product Development, and the graduate level class ME 552, Design of Electromechanical Systems. These courses feature design projects that require a creative application of fundamental engineering concepts toward the manufacture of proof-of-concept prototypes.

Presentations range from component designs in ME 250, to mechanism designs in ME 350, and to full system designs in the senior capstone design courses ME 450. For instance, ME 450 students have designed diverse and complex systems such as a miniature pump for portable fuel cells, a pediatric surgical device, a race car frame, a biofeedback device for treating obsessive compulsive spectrum disorders, a wheel-chair baby carrier, a next-generation vehicle seat, and Braille displays for blind transcriptionists.

In the Analytical Product Development class, students design artifacts from a multidisciplinary perspective that includes engineering, art, psychology, marketing, and economics. Using a decision-making framework, emphasis is placed on understanding basic quantitative methods employed by the different disciplines for making design decisions, and on the interdisciplinary interactions throughout the design development process.

ME 552 students complete open-ended mechatronic system designs that must be entertaining in their behavior, and integrate mechanical, electronic, and computational components. Such multidisciplinary engineering skills as exhibited at this year's Design Expo are expected to continue being a major theme of design education in the coming years.

The Design Expo brochure describing all projects is available for download ( ). All these projects are possible thanks to the active involvement of many industrial, faculty, and community sponsors. This interface to the "real world" provides a constant set of new challenges which feed the open-ended educational experience that prepares our students for careers in Mechanical Engineering.

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