Daily Utah Chronicle: Engineering Students Showcase Projects

April 20, 2011

DAILY UTAH CHRONICLE – Engineering students’ innovative designs were recognized at the U on Tuesday. The emphasis of the event was engineering in motion, and many inspiring vehicles caught the crowd’s attention.

The Eco Hawk, a senior design showcase project, measured practically from the floor to the ceiling of the Union Ballroom. The project immediately attracted people who were curious of the oddity. Not only was the size of the land-sailer impressive, but so was the strong sense of teamwork among the group of pioneering engineers.

“It’s a big team but it was a big project,” said Brandon Almond, a senior mechanical engineering student

The recreational vehicle is the image of a sailboat with wheels, which can be an alternative for land use.

“I may be biased, as I built it, but when we tested it out down in Magna, it was a lot of fun,” Almond said. “It’s easy to drive and accelerates quickly.”

The team designed the Eco Hawk from the frame upward, modifying the original design of the wind sail when encountering difficulties.

“We had a couple of bumps and bruises along the way, but overall it went really well,” he said. “It’s been a lot of fun, and so far today we have loved listening to the
positive feedback.”

Other motivated team members also worked on the NASA Great Moon Buggy 2011. It is a continuing project built to enter the NASA moon buggy competition, where it will be tested on a simulation of the moon’s surface. Requirements include a light frame and the ability to fold into a compact structure.

“A lot of work was involved,” said Nick Baker, a senior in mechanical engineering. “We designed, built and welded the frame, but our favorite part was testing it out on campus.”

The team took existing parts of the previous buggy model from last year and added to it. Other parts were donated, but the effort that each individual contributed to the new design and construction of the moon buggy was evident.

Another project showcased was the Electrathon 2011. The electric car is designed to go as fast as possible in one hour using two car batteries. The project, which was previously worked on by other students, was adapted and improved by David Temple, a senior in mechanical engineering.

“I really wanted to continue with this project despite the difficult challenges encountered with the design of the aerodynamic shell,” Temple said. “Luckily though, it turned out amazingly well, and we all learned from our experiences with it.”

m.lenihanclarke@chronicle.utah.edu

Original Story: http://www.dailyutahchronicle.com/news/engineering-students-showcase-projects/

EcoHawk Land-Sailor