Mechanical Engineering

Non-Capstone Projects

In addition to the ME 481 Senior Capstone class, there are five 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.

These projects are on display during Design Day from 9:00 until noon in the 1200 Hallway Engineering Building. The team with the best design, as voted on by pre-collegiate visitors, is awarded the Sparty Plaque.


In ME 471 Mechanical Design II students were changed to design, build and test a small scale three DOF palletizing robot that collects and stacks items of cylindrical shape. The system should be designed and manufactured so that:

  •  The system mass is minimized. This may in turn reduce energy usage and system cost.
  •  Operation of the system is smooth and accurate.
  •  The system can be operated by one person.
  •  All metallic structural components are designed to have infinite fatigue life.
  •  The operation of the system is safe for all personnel and intended products.
  •  The system is easily maintained, including cleaning and general maintenance.
  •  The system is easily assembled and disassembled.

The competition is held in Room 1345 Engineering Building from 8:00 until 12:30. 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 involves enhanced cooling of microprocessors. Each team is to design, analyze, build and test a heat transfer device to evaporate salt water, condense the water vapor, and collect the fresh water in another container. Twelve birthday candles will be used for energy input to the device, which must begin operation at room temperature. The objective is to maximize the amount of water collected. Each team comprises no more than three students, who must complete a project report that includes an analytical model of the process, a design analysis, test data, cost information, and a comparison between the test data and the analytical model. Each team must also manufacture its device. Heat transfer devices will be judged on the basis of the amount of water produced, the mass of the device, and its cost. It must fit in a cardboard box of dimension 12” x 12” x 12”. Each team will have fifteen minutes to test their device.

This competition takes place in Room 1225 from 8:20 until 12:20 on Design Day. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.


The ME 478 Product Development and Human Health course provides a discourse on contemporary thinking about creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship in a global context. Moreover, a deeper comprehension of this triumvirate not only contributes to the public good in the USA, but also in under-developed nations where 80% of the world’s population struggles to survive on an income of only U.S.$2.00 each day.

The fabric of this design-intensive ME478 curriculum is woven from a thread of ideas on societal development with a second orthogonal thread of fundamental ideas on the engineering problem-solving process relevant to everynation that shares our small planet. This warp and weft of intertwined fibers constitutes the biggest challenge confronting humanity today. Therefore students are exposed to a diverse inter-connected suite of topics that includes idea generation, psychological impediments, manufacturing, commercialization, diffusion of innovations, finance, project planning and communications.

This competition takes place in the 1200 Hallway from 8:00 until 12:00 on Design Day. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.