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2014 Fall Senior Design Showcase

Image that says "Power up!" and "Department of mechanical and biomedical engineering"

Fall 2014 Senior Design Showcase
Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2014 was the first time our department had a fall graduating class of Mechanical Engineering majors. The previous year had seen our first group of seven students completing our Spring/Fall section of the Senior Design Capstone class. This year brought us TWO classes with a total of 36 students in ten project teams. Eight of those teams presented at our first fall Senior Design Showcase.


Sponsor: BSU
Team: Tara Ackerman, Jeff Hill, Richard Livingston, Joshua Plemmons, Micah Sandusky

     The anticam is a redesign of a climbing device that secures to the outside of rock features and can support the weight of a falling climber. When climbing certain routes, there are not always appropriate locations to place traditional climbing gear, such as cams. In these situations the standard method of securing the climber is by driving bolts into the cliff face. The anticam is a non-permanent solution that is easy to operate with one hand and fast to install, making it a useful device for climbers.

Image of the Exo Mountain Gear logoExo Backpacking Gear

Sponsor: Exo Mountain Gear
Team: Kyle Hoff, Andrew Laws, Patrick White, Sarah Norman

     Exo Mountain Gear approached Boise State University for assistance with improving their hiking and hunting backpacks. The current pack consists of a unique titanium frame structure and hip belt. While the current pack is selling well, there is no hard data to support any of the current design features and no advanced studies have been conducted to justify any of the current design criteria. In order to achieve Exo Mountain Gear’s goals and meet the project specifications, the project will be broken into 3 parts. The first part will be to verify the materials chosen will meet warranty claims under expected use. Part two will involve prototyping and testing of a frame modification and part 3 will be the prototyping and testing of a new hip belt design.

Film Equipment Brake SystemImage of the SeaToSkyCam logo

Sponsor: SeaToSkyCam
Team: Jesse Blodgett, Clint Taipale, Jackie James

     An emergency brake designed to carefully decelerate a camera trolley filled with delicate equipment weighing up to 70lb and traveling up to 65mph. The camera trolley rides along a support rope between two anchor points typically hundreds of feet above the ground. The emergency brake is in the form of a rope clamp that uses the force of friction to slow the trolley upon impact.

RC Aircraft

Sponsor: BSU Aeronautics Club
Team: Ethan Sweet, Jordan Price, Judson Parkin, Michael Conner, Jake Chinn

     The purpose of this Senior Design Project is to design an RC airplane based on criteria for the 2014 SAE Aero Competition, Micro Class. The SAE Aero Competition is a college level national competition to design and fly RC planes based on certain parameters. The goal of this team is to design a model aircraft capable of carrying the highest payload with the lowest overall weight. The plane is built out of a combination of balsa wood and basswood, ribs were built using a laser cutter for the wings and fuselage and joined by carbon fiber rods. It is designed to launch into the air using a hand launch system. The plane is controlled by a 2.4 GHz transmitter and receiver. The plane was built to have full flight capabilities with a high wing placement, ailerons, and a high empennage. No rudder is used in this design. The aircraft has a top speed around 40 mph and lands on its belly.

Solar Powered Charging Station

Sponsor: BSU Environmental Health and Safety
Team: Randall Clark, Beau Husfloen, Brandon parent, Cody Sullivan

     The project goal is to redesign the solar powered charging station that is currently on campus. The old design was problematic in two areas: it was unable to quantify the amount of energy that has been taken “off the grid”, and the physical design was unappealing to multiple users. The re-design incorporates a data logging system that will track cumulative energy usage and frequency of station use. The new physical design of the table promotes multiple concurrent users by incorporating individual stations that are more spacious and comfortable than the previous design.

Water Pumping SystemImage of the Petroglyph Energy logo

Sponsor: Petroglyph Energy
Team: Jacob Powell, Brooke Ward, David Mullner

     During the production of crude oil, three substances are produced; oil, water, and natural gas. In Petroglyph Energy Inc.’s oil field in Roosevelt, UT the production water is injected back in to producing formations. This essentially pushes the oil towards production wells and prevents low-pressure sinks from forming. The majority of the field is relatively flat, but there is a 280 foot deep canyon along the West side of the field. Currently the majority of Petroglyph’s injection capacity is in the top-side of the field. This means that most of the water produced in the canyon (100-2,000 barrels per day) has to be trucked to injection stations in the upper part of the field. We have been tasked with designing a system to pump the canyon water up out of the canyon and in to the upper system. This will eliminate the need for the water hauler trucks and save the company money in the long run.

Welding Rotator

Sponsor: BSU Student Machine Shop
Team: Jacob Clifton, Mausam Dhakal, Taylor Jordan, Diego Ortiz

     The Boise State Student Machine Shop requested the design of a welding rotator. Welding rotators are used for unusual welding jobs that include round geometries (pipes, pressure vessels) and sheet metal projects (to minimize warping). Based upon diligent industry research and design analysis, the team has developed a suitable device at a reasonable cost. Funded by AC Machine Works and part donations from the student shop, the team has developed a device that can hold typical shop projects and rotate at a reasonable speed for welding.

Wild West Special EffectsImage of the River City Entertainment logo

Sponsor: River City Entertainment
Team: Jason Balfour, Nick Johnston, Chris, McKillop, Chris Olson

     River City Entertainment is an interactive theater company that hosts a Wild West show. The show takes place on the Thunder Mountain Line train that departs Horseshoe Bend Idaho along the scenic view of the Payette River and then stops in the small city of Banks, where it culminates in a thrilling gun fight show. The company has recruited BSU to enhance the show by developing and building a special effect that will add to the excitement of the show.

     Cans or other objects are placed on top of what appears to be an ordinary old wooden hitching post. The actor’s will take aim and fire real guns loaded with blanks towards the objects, causing them to sore off the hitching post and into the air. The effect is accomplished with hidden linear solenoids signaled from a wireless remote controller by an actor standing off set.