New Additions to UCF's Senior Design Showcase Highlight Florida's Tech Talent
For the first time ever, UCF engineers will be joined by students from nine Florida universities for a display of 150 innovative STEM projects.
From an augmented reality restaurant menu that could change the way we order food to proposed solar sculptures for Orlando City Stadium, 600 UCF engineering and computer science students will display 125 innovative projects Thursday during the Spring 2018 Senior Design Showcase.
The projects, which will be on display from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Harris Engineering Center and Engineering Building II, is a culmination of eight-months of effort that students must complete for their capstone senior design course. Engineering and computer science students take Senior Design I to brainstorm and design a project before bringing them to life in Senior Design II the following semester.
Uniting Florida Engineering Students
This year’s showing will have even more to offer, as students from nine other engineering colleges present 25 additional projects for the first Florida-Wide Student Engineering Design Invitational.
The partnership shows how strong engineering and computer science talent is being developed at universities to fuel Florida’s innovation economy. UCF is the nation’s No. 1 workforce supplier to the aerospace and defense industry and is among the nation’s top producers of engineers and computer scientists.
“[The invitational] gives a forum to students from many Florida institutions to interact with each other during an important day of their academic career,” says Michael Georgiopoulos, dean of UCF’s College of Engineering & Computer Science. “Capstone projects, a staple in engineering and computer science colleges in Florida, are a unique way of connecting the talent pipeline with future employers just because engineering students quite often work on capstone projects sponsored by industry.”
Designing for the Future
Orlando Utilities Commission is one industry sponsor that challenged three teams to design a solar-powered art sculpture for the downtown Orlando City Stadium. The three solar sculptures include “Giration,” a soccer ball with filigree shadows; “¡Golazo!,” a soccer player kicking upwards into a net; and “Project Impact,” a bursting soccer ball and three risers.
The event kicks off at 9 a.m. for an hour-long Duke Energy Symposium on renewable and sustainable technology, with keynote speaker Doug Guidish ’07, founder and CEO of Guard Dog Valves. During this time, six graduation mechanical engineering students will present their composite glass-polymer metamaterial project that has the potential to drastically reduce the energy usage and cost of cooling a home through the concept of “passive radiative cooling.”
Another project on display is the “Noni” augmented-reality restaurant menu that provides an authentic view of the food selection and is already being used at local restaurants. The demo will allow users to choose a supported restaurant, point it at the table and experience the food as if it were actually there.
There will also be a real-life transformer in the form of a six-legged surveillance robot, known as “SigSent.” The droid will demonstrate the intelligence to tell the difference between rough and smooth terrain and adapt between walking and rolling on each appropriate surface.
The showcase will close with an award ceremony in the Engineering II Atrium from 3:30 to 5 p.m. A volunteer panel of faculty, staff and engineering professionals will vote to determine the top projects in each discipline, the top visiting project, and best-in-show.