Pitt | Swanson Engineering
MEMS Success at Senior Design Expo
1st place
First place from left: Jamie Laughlin, Arden Stayer, Ethan Linderman, and Jake Saletsky
second place
Second place from left: Dr. Dave Schmidt, Hunter Stept, Adam Argentine, Nicole Nduta, and Austin Gray
third place
Third place from left: Rui Xu, Frost Wang, Caroline Collopy, and Terry McLinden
fourth place
Fourth place from left: Dr. Dave Schmidt, Cameron Rendulic, and Shawn Kosko (not pictured: Stanley Umeweni)

The Spring 2019 Swanson School Design Expo was held on April 18 at Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Hall. This semiannual event allows students to showcase their work from senior capstone design courses. The expo features almost 100 projects from more than 400 students, with the MEMS Department producing the most projects in the School. Project ideas come from industry, faculty and students. Students have 13 weeks to complete their projects on a budget of ~$400.

Projects are judged by faculty, alumni and industry professionals in various categories including a People’s Choice Award, which all attendees can vote on. MEMS students have always done well at the competition in the past, and this year was no exception. The “Panther Junk Kart Club” team took first place for MEMS projects and also won the judge’s award for Best Overall Project by creating a practice FSAE go-kart. Team members were Ethan Linderman, Jamie Laughlin, Jake Saletsky and Arden Stayer.

Second place went to team Pitt Sear, who developed a searing cooking system. The members of that team were Adam Argentine, Austin Gray, Nicole Nduta and Hunter Stept.

A project that involved the design of a rotating camera system for stereo imaging large deformations of soft tissues took home third place. That team was Caroline Collopy, Terry McLinden, Frost Wang and Rui Xu.

Finally, fourth place went to the design of carbon fiber wheels for the FSAE car. Team members were Shawn Kosko, Cameron Rendulic and Stanley Umeweni.

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Dr. Dave Schmidt, associate professor and instructor of the senior design course, notes that the projects serve as a bridge between undergraduate coursework and the workforce. The projects allow students to apply their class training and gives them a story to tell to potential employers in interviews. Schmidt noted that a good work environment and culture of each team is vital for success of the projects. These necessary elements are why the Department is establishing a dedicated classroom for Senior Design projects. The classroom is located on the ground floor of Benedum Hall and was sponsored by ME alum and current MEMS Visiting Committee member, Wilson Farmerie and his wife Karen. The classroom is setup with build, meeting, computation and storage spaces for the students to complete their projects.

Meagan Lenze, 5/1/2019

Contact: Meagan Lenze