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April 16, 2013

Purdue students to show off senior design innovations

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Purdue University students completing a mechanical engineering senior design course will demonstrate a diverse collection of inventions, from an autonomous lunar rover to a hydroelectric generator for slow-moving streams and a solar-powered aircraft.

The students will display more than 30 creations during the School of Mechanical Engineering Thomas J. & Sandra H. Malott Innovation Awards competition on April 26.

"The students have to take their concepts all the way from rough idea to prototype in one semester," said John Starkey, a professor of mechanical engineering. "So it takes creativity, skill and discipline."

He and other faculty in the School of Mechanical Engineering served as advisers to the senior design project teams.

The projects will be on display from 1-3 p.m. in the second-floor Hill Commons Area of the Mechanical Engineering Building's Gatewood Wing. First- through third-place and judges' choice award winners will be announced from 3:30–3:45 p.m.

The creations include:

* A ping-pong-ball serving machine.

* An automotive waste-heat recovery system.

* A portable renewable energy-charging device.

* A solar-powered unmanned aerial vehicle.

* A Frisbee disc launcher.

* A system to symbiotically raise fish and food crops.

* A portable refrigeration unit for vaccines.

* A hydroelectric power system for slow-moving streams.

* A solar-powered unconventional air conditioning system for cars.

Faculty members John Nolfi, Galen King, Fu Zhao, Xianfan Xu, Peter Meckl, Gregory Shaver, Hukam Mongia, Xiulin Ruan and Starkey advised the senior design teams. 

Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, venere@purdue.edu

Source: John Starkey, 765-494-8607, starkey@purdue.edu 

Note to Journalists: Broadcast-quality B-roll may be available upon request. For more information, contact Jim Schenke, Purdue News Service, at 765-237-7296, jschenke@purdue.edu