Muhammad Rashid Best Project Award
Thanks to the generous endowment given by Dr. Muhammad Rashid and his wife Dr. Fatema Rashid, the Engineering department is able to support and award students for their hard work in their two-semester capstone projects that integrate knowledge acquired throughout their degree.
Spring 2017 First Place
Design of a Remotely Operated Power Line Inspection Tool
Bryce Hagar, Wydrick Hill, Sean Miller, Ruben Ramirez, and John Wimberly
Dr. Mohamed Khabou
Inspecting power lines for quality and remaining lifespan is time consuming and costly for power companies worldwide, but this action is imperative for safety and preventing outages. The design of a robot to traverse distribution lines allows a remote operator to conduct detailed inspection on miles of lines – all from a secure location. With the ability to easily mount this robot and record video from both sides of the line, power companies will be able to provide their lineman a safer working environment and their customers a greater power reliability and reduced costs.
Design of a Smart HVAC Control System
David Shearlock and Jonathan Nix
Dr. Bhuvana Ramachandran
The modern heating ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC ) systems usually rely on a temperature measurement from a single location to control an entire building, or at least a large portion or zone of the building. More precise control of the system is required to improve user comfort and potentially reduce the power demands of HVAC systems. By designing a smarter control unit capable of utilizing an array of temperature and humidity sensors, the control unit directs valves to regulate air flow into or away from a zone thereby increasing personal comfort and reducing unneeded air conditioning to areas where the desired conditions have already been met. This project utilizes a Raspberry Pi microcontroller to receive data from the temperature sensors and relay commands to servo controlled in-duct dampers, as well as stepper motor controller vent registers. The system was tested inside a multi-room demo home and was shown to provide a more even temperature distribution compared to the traditional single sensor/control system.