JHU ME Senior Design Projects 2011-12

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The class of 2012. Click on images to see larger versions.
Image of an ATV crash from http://www.dirtwheelsmag.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=&nm=&type=news&mod=News&mid=9A02E3B96F2A415ABC72CB5F516B4C10&tier=3&nid=65287CD147F644199F15D5BBBBC7B850


Peter Cremona-Simmons, Mark Petraroia, Nicholas Salzman & Tobe Madu

Sponsors: CIRP (Dr Steve Bowman) & Whitewater Research & Safety Institute (Nick Turner)

Hundreds of children die or are seriously injured each year while riding ATVs. This team was challenged to design and implement an approach to reducing injuries or injury severity from ATV crashes. Their chosen solution has two parts: a new helmet which offers better protection during low-speed collisions, and a novel system to check that the rider is actually wearing a helmet. The helmet-compliance system uses a specialized reflective patch on the helmet, a detector on the handlebars and will have the ability to shut off the motor if the reflective patch is not detected. The team was also challenged to come up with a Concussion Testing protocols for testing lower speed impacts.

Nick, Tobe, Mark and Peter with and without helmets.

Image of CHADEMO quick charge plug from http://inhabitat.com/lack-of-standard-for-fast-charging-ev-stations-means-some-cars-cant-plug-in/

Team CAR

George Blum, John Miranda & Arman Muse

Sponsor: GPRenew Ltd. (Gabe Phillips & Don Nevin)

This team developed a system to charge an electric car fast and will demonstrate the technology using a scale model.

Envelope edge showing mark (mark color changed to bright red to make it clearer)


Alperen Degirmenci, Joseph Saltzman & Ryan Scherich

Sponsor: Pitney Bowes Ltd. (John Masotta)

This team have developed a system to mark the edge of envelopes in a high-speed mail handling line. The new system has fewer parts than an existing device and is entirely non-contact.

John Masotta, Alperen Degirmenci, Ryan Scherich and Mark McLeod inspect the team's design solution.

Image of a model being tested in a tow tank from http://www.boatdesign.net/forums/boat-design/design-towing-tank-22821.html


Hector Cintron, Tyler Goodell, Sarah McElman & Adam Merritt

Sponsor: JHU Applied Physics Laboratory (Dr Ken Kalumuck)

TRACE developed a multi-degree-of-freedom robot to tow a fluid mechanics model in a tow tank.

Sarah, Hector, Tyler and Adam in front of part of the developed system.

Image of RAF Reaper UAV from http://defense-update.com/products/p/predatorB.htm


Matthew Blake, Peter Denny & William Selba

Sponsor: AAI Co. (Jeremy Bley)

AAI make UAVs, unmanned aerial vehicles, for military surveillance. The next generation of these UAVs will have a retractable nose wheel in order to improve the view range of cameras on the underside. Team VIEW have designed, built and tested a lightweight retractable undercarriage to AAI’s specification. It weighs less than 5lb but can support a force of 275lb during a rough landing; it also has a spring-loaded fail-safe mode so it can be deployed even if some aircraft systems are out of action.

Will, Peter and Matt with their prototype.

Image of measuring a bone hole from http://www2.aofoundation.org/wps/portal/!ut/p/c0/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3hng7BARydDRwN3QwMDA08zTzdvvxBjIwN_I_2CbEdFADiM_QM!/?redfix_url=&implantstype=Lag%20screw%20fixation%20for%20radius&segment=Proximal&bone=Radius&classification=21-B3.1&showPage=redfix&treatment=Operative&method=ORIF%20for%20extraarticular%20radial%20fracture


Albert Chen, Reeve Heinis & Matthew Rice
Sponsor: OrthoHelix Surgical Design, Inc. (Liz Altenau)

If you ever need complex surgery to repair, say, a broken ankle, chances are the surgeon might install a bone plate and screws made by OrthoHelix. The plates and screws are part of a surgical tool kit that includes various jigs and measuring devices. The performance of one of the measuring devices, a bone hole depth probe, became the subject of this project. Team PROBE have designed and implemented a new bone hole depth probe using a novel eccentric concept proposed by Niel Leon. The team have also considered how to mass-produce the new design.

Albert Chen holds a metal version of the developed probe.

Image of Convaid wheelchair from http://www.especialneeds.com/strollers-wheelchairs-ramps-strollers-pushchairs-umbrella-strollers-convaid-cruiser-classic-transit-stroller.html


Vincent Rolin, Carl Snyder, Juan Tobon & Alex Villa

Sponsor: VLINC (formerly VME) (John Walker)

Hanna Newcomb is a 15 year old girl who has Cerebal Palsy and Cystic Fibrosis. She uses a wheelchair and is also blind. Despite these issues her family love to take her out for walks and also holidays. The problem they brought to VLINC was simple but annoying: the chair they now use just did not fold up tightly enough. It did not even fit in the back of a normal car. Team MOVE were challenged to come up with a way to make the chair fold down to a shorter overall length without compromising safety or comfort. Their solution was to cut the existing chair and introduce custom-made locking hinges; and they also re-worked some of the chair support structure. The new chair is larger when deployed yet smaller when folded and we hope it will serve Hanna and her family for many years.

The custom hinge developed by the team.

BAC cooling tower hot water basin with one panel removed


Isai Badaraco, Daniel Choi, John Falzon & Kyle Rohrbach

Sponsor: Baltimore Aircoil Co. (John Shin)

Team WATER characterized the flow in part of a cooling tower and redesigned a key part called the PDB.

John, Albert, Kyle and sponsor Dave Aaron examine the new PDB.

Partial image of e-pill dispenser (product NOT developed by this project)


Austin Baird, Peter Costa, John Gardus & Kunwoo Kim

Sponsor: Martha Higgens

Project detail suppressed for confidentiality.

Rod Bucket developed by the team


Hunter Brown, Caroline Henriques & Colleen Stone

Sponsor: Baltimore Gas & Electric Co. (Rachel Geary)

BGE is a regulated utility company that distributes energy to the greater Baltimore area. Their linemen work under demanding conditions of darkness, wind and snow. One aspect of working on power lines is the need to install working grounds. These are deliberate short-circuits that can protect the linemen in the case that a wire is accidentally energized. The process of hanging the grounds involves a long pole and a heavy copper wire, used while suspended off the side of a tower perhaps 50 feet off the ground. It is a hard operation and there is a great temptation for the lineman to approach the ground wire too closely. Team SPARK were asked to invent some way to make the task of hanging the grounds easier and safer. Their solution: a custom “rod bucket” which connects the ground pole to the lineman’s hip. Extensive testing for compliance to BGE and international standards has been undertaken to ensure the new product will be both useful and safe.

Hunter, Colleen and Caroline show the use of their rod bucket design to support a "hot stick".

Image of plastic pellets from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Nurdles_01_gentlemanrook.jpg


Hans Ma, Christopher Price, Andrew Rohland & Sara Tankard

Sponsor: Novatec, Inc. (Steve Gillmeister)

Novatec manufactures and sells equipment for plastics injection molding, extrusion, and similar processes. Plastic pellets are moved through these factories using central vacuum systems. In a complex factory, manual switching stations are used so that any source of pellets can go to any consumer of pellets, similar to routing calls through an old-fashioned telephone switchboard. Team SORT were asked to invent a better machine to switch the flow of pellets. The requirements were demanding and included very high reliability and a small overall form.

Andrew, Sara, Hans and Chris in front of their device.

Image of computed 2D fluid velocity field. Source unknown.


Konstantinos Bertsatos, Daniel Cadel & Carlisle Leitch

Sponsor: Prof. Joe Katz, JHU Mechanical Engineering.

Prof. Katz saw the need for a new undergraduate teaching laboratory to demonstrate PIV, particle imaging velocimetry. With the right rig students might be able to see classic demonstrations of flow, live, and also may be able to invent their own experiments. Team FLUID have designed and built a desktop version of the usual research PIV setup. Cutting edge or research-grade performance is not needed; instead low cost and user-friendliness are emphasized in the design.

Carlisle, Dan and Kostas with their rig.

John Dannenhoffer holds the modified GAUI quadcopter.


John Dannenhoffer, Benjamin Goldberg, Robert Grande & Peter Sebrechts

Sponsor: U.S. Airforce Research Lab

This is something new for Senior Design: a national competition. The Airforce invited 17 universities to submit advanced prototypes which were judged at trials in Ohio in April. The competition was to help soldiers scale a cliff or building with more ease and more speed than any existing method. The team developed a lightweight vacuum cup device which could suck onto a brick or concrete wall, and this was delivered to a high position by a modified GAUI quadcopter. Ropes in the vacuum cup were glued to the wall. The team were able to demonstrate all of these techniques at the competition but sadly did not win. Movies and more.

Ben, Rob and John hold pieces of the quadcopter, boom and vacuum cup.

Image of a child holding a used syringe with needle, from http://www.healingtalks.com/health/rise-in-medical-waste-an-increasing-global-crisis/

Team MED

Shannon Hayles, Aaron King, Imbi Salasoo & Lindsay Tyson

Sponsor: JHPIEGO (Dr Chandrakant Ruparelia)

Hospitals generate quite a lot of waste because many items can only be used once. Also what happens to revolting things like body parts that are surgically removed? Here in the West we have good systems to take care of such waste. But in developing countries the situation is very different. Many small hospitals in rural Africa, for example, have essentially no planned waste disposal. Waste is thrown in heaps where it can be a hazard to children and animals. Hospitals that have incinerators can at least burn the waste but this leads to another problem: dioxin production from burning PVC. Team MED have been working on a new technology to reduce the production of dioxins from a standard small incinerator recommended by the World Health Organization. Their solution is a custom arrangement of chimney tubes, with a small fan, to quench the exhaust gas suddenly and prevent dioxin reformation. The technology shows promise as a low-cost and low-tech add-on to existing small furnaces.

Imbi, Aaron, Shannon and Lindsay.

JHU ME Senior Design

Dr Nathan Scott nscott@jhu.edu 443-827-0198