Students utilized their knowledge gained through their years at Florida Tech to find solutions to real-world problems and present them at the Northrop Grumman Student Design and Research Showcase.
The event took place on April 12 at the Clemente Center.
“This was the first time that we could really put all of our knowledge to use and see everything we have learned since freshman year,” Emily Perron, an ocean engineering major, said.
Perron’s group, Reef Life, created an artificial reef that creates a perfect surf while also protecting the shoreline and promoting coral growth.
Perron said that the modular design was based off of LEGOs so the reef could be configured in any shape.
“It feels really great to have won Best in Show for Ocean Engineering and to know that someone really appreciated our hard work,” Perron said. “I’m very grateful.”
Reef Life placed first in their category, but success did not come without challenges.
“Originally we tried 3D printing our blocks, and they took 20 hours each to make and kept failing,” Perron said. “We had to make 100 of these blocks, so we had to find a different method of designing.”
Reef Life opted to use molds instead of printing to speed up their manufacturing process.
Dev Patel, an aerospace engineering major, presented the Perching Unmanned Monitoring Aircraft or PUMA.
PUMA can act as both a rotorcraft and a fixed wing aircraft, giving it increased speed and maneuverability.
The aircraft has a claw-like landing gear, which allows it to perch like a bird.
“It’s designed to act as a mobile services platform for emergency service providers,” Patel said.
Computer engineering major, Ahmed Okasha and his team designed an on-board diagnostic tool for the formula electric team.
“Once they build the car, the engineers would basically just walk up and plug in the device to the car and be able to get all the readings that they need,” Okasha said.
The device would give battery voltage, temperature and charging state readings.
Okasha said that in the future, a radio can be added to the device so that it can stay on the car permanently and send info back to the engineers while it’s racing.
“It [completing senior design] feels satisfying, but there’s always that one part of you that feels as if you could have done more,” Okasha said.
Cooper Mitchell, an ocean engineering student, and his team built the foundation vessel SWATH. SWATH is a Small Waterplane Area Twin Hole vessel was built to bridge the gap between large vessels and smaller vessels with not much over complications.
Mitchell’s project reached outside of ocean engineering and recruited the help of aerospace, electrical and computer engineers.
“It’s a great culmination of my ocean engineering degree,” Mitchell said. “We did coastal process, naval architecture, instrumentation, material science and ship design and construction. It showed me to have a full range of experience to take with me into the job market.”