Mechanical Engineering

Non-Capstone Projects

In addition to the ME 481 Senior Capstone class, there are four design courses required of all Mechanical Engineering majors. Three of those courses participate in Design Day. For the complete competition schedules, please see the Design Day Booklet.

In ME 371 Mechanical Design I students are required to design and manufacture mechanisms that incorporate at least one linkage, one gear set and one cam-follower combination.

MSU College of Engineering, Design Day, 5/1/2015

These projects are on display during Design Day from 9:00 until noon in Parlor A and B Second Floor. The team with the best design, as voted on by pre-collegiate visitors, is awarded the Sparty Plaque.


Students in ME 471 Mechanical Design II were challenged to design, build and test prototype apparatus for extracting juice from apples. The students were given a lot of freedom as to how their designs could function, but they did have to adhere to a few customer constraints as follows:

  • the device may be freestanding or may be attached to a standard table, but no permanent damage may be done to the table;
  • one person must set up and operate the device alone;
  • the mechanism used to extract the juice must be human powered;
  • the apple juice that is extracted should have very little particulate matter;
  • the juice that is extracted from the apples must be good for human consumption(any surface that touches the apples or the juice must be able to be sanitized in astandard kitchen sink);
  • a removable container must be included to collect the extracted juice;
  • the time it takes to extract the juice from 8-10 apples must be under 10 minutes;
  • the operator will be allowed to prepare (slice, core, peel, etc.) apples before puttingthem into the juice-extracting device using standard kitchen utensils.

The devices will be judged with respect to the amount of juice the device can extract, the appearance of the device (aesthetics and design impression), the amount of storage space the device requires when not in use, and the total weight of the device.

The competition is held in Balloom Second Floor from 8:00am until 11:30am. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.


In ME 456 Mechatronics Systems Design the students were challenged to develop, test, and demonstrate an innovative design for a commercial product that synthesizes mechanical, electrical, electronic, thermal and/or fluid components with an imbedded microcontroller. Typical applications range from automotive engine controls and robotic manufacturing systems to toys and consumer appliances such as microwave ovens. Each group will make a 20-minute presentation and demonstration of a working prototype of their product.

The competition is held in Lake Superior Room Third Floor from 8:00am until 9:40am. The winning team receives the Leonardo da Vinci Machine Design Award. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.


The ME 412 Heat Transfer Laboratory project is to design, model, build, and test a heat transfer device to minimize the operating temperature in the center of the upward facing side of an electrically heated plate. The electrically heated plate is composed of a flexible heater sandwiched between two thin metal plates. The plate is of dimensions 2” by 3” and approximately 17 Watts of electric power will be applied. The plate must be maintained in a horizontal position. A box fan that will provide an air flow within a specified velocity range will be used to augment the heat transfer. The heat transfer device may be placed no closer than one foot in front of the fan. The device must also include any supporting structure needed to suspend the heated plate in the air flow. The objective will be to minimize the operating temperature of the plate, subject to cost and weight considerations. The device will be judged on the basis of the center surface temperature, the mass of the device, and its cost. The device, including any supporting structure, must fit inside a box of dimension 14” x 14″ x 12”.

MSU College of Engineering, Design Day, 5/1/2015

This competition takes place in the Ballroom, Second Floor from 9:00am until 11:30am on Design Day. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.