Mechanical Engineering

Non-Capstone Projects

In addition to the ME 481 Senior Capstone class, there are six 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 Rooms 1230 and 1234 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 scale version of a crane that extends to raise a weight as shown in the accompanying figure. The system should be designed and manufactured to lift the maximum weight possible with the minimum system mass and cost, while maintaining a smooth and controlled motion.

The competition is held in Room 1345 Engineering Building from 8:00 until 11:16. 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 minimize the operating temperature in the center of the upward- facing side of an electrically heated plate. The electrically heated plate comprises a flexible heater sandwiched between two thin horizontal metal plates. A box fan is available to provide an airflow within a specified velocity range, which may be used to augment the heat transfer. The objective of the project is to minimize the operating temperature of the plate when 20 Watts of power is supplied, subject to cost, weight and size constraints.

This competition takes place in Room 1252 from 8:00 until 11:30 on Design Day. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.


In ME 478 Product Development, the students must design and build a vehicle that climbs up and down stairs, as part of a project which integrates engineering knowledge gained during the students’ education at MSU. Starting as an individual project and evolving into a team project, each team produces a vehicle by accomplishing a series of design and manufacturing tasks. Students contribute both individually and collaboratively to accomplish these tasks using CAD/CAM packages, CNC machining, 3D printing, etc. When the vehicle has been built, a control system is designed and implemented using the MyRio platform for remote operation via the engineering wireless network.

This competition takes place in the West Main Lobby/Stairwell from 9:00 until 10:00 on Design Day. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.


The Biomechanical Design and New Product Development course (ME 497/MKT 420) provides students with a unique opportunity to develop and market a real, new product that incorporates some biomechanical function. This class is novel insofar as students work in inter-disciplinary teams of engineers and marketers. Students experience the entire process of new product development, from need identification, concept generation and testing, to product development, design analysis and launch. This course further strengthens students’ knowledge and real world exposure by working with Spartan Innovations and entering local innovation competitions.

This competition takes place in Room 1240 from 8:00 until 11:00 on Design Day. Please see the Design Day Booklet for information on the competition schedule.