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Engineering students present semester project

MVNU’s freshmen engineering majors showed off their first semester of work with a project demonstration on Wednesday afternoon.

This is the third annual demonstration from the freshmen in the Engineering Design I class.

The project’s goal was to teach the process of engineering and help students see what it means to actually work as an Engineer.

The class built a machine to transport water from one tank to another through a pipe. The teams used a pump and pressure valve in the design. The final machine moved 35 gallons of water per minute.

The class was divided into four different teams: M, V, N and U. Each team was responsible for different aspects of the project.

This year, 27 freshmen – the largest class yet -- participated in the project.

Jacob Brown led his team as they presented the design review to Professor of Engineering Dr. Gary Koester.

“I explained how our concept for the system works, and helped explain why we chose the simple pump loop compared to the other concepts,” said Brown, sharing his part in the project.

To build a successful design, students first had to understand fluid mechanics, the application of the laws of force and motion to fluids. The machine they designed also tested different water qualities.

Professor of Engineering David Winyard said he was happy with the outcome and the skills his students learned.

The project tests students on both classroom knowledge and collaboration, he said.

“It involves learning to work with others on a team,” Winyard said. “It involves understanding of project management and project leadership, and then getting into the math and the science.”

Winyard said the project is a valuable one because students apply real-world engineering concepts to create a final product that is functional and useful.

Students said they learned a lot from the hands-on experience.

“I learned the basics of the engineering design process while furthering my shop experience,” Brown said. “This was a successful project serving a real need.”

Nana Yeboah, another student on the project, wrote a project summary and reflection report as her part in the project. She was also responsible for gathering her team and putting together the final project.

“I learned how to work with wood shop tools,” Yeboah said. “I have never worked with them. I also learned how to work in an engineering group. We spent more time thinking and talking things out before we got to build.”

The hands-on aspect of this project was the most rewarding for many students.

“One reason why I chose engineering is I love to do something and make something rather than sit in class,” Yeboah said.

Brown agreed. “I love seeing the complex equations and arithmetic come to life in a real working system,” he said.

Winyard looks forward to seeing his students move forward in the program.

“Engineering is a great profession; it’s useful,” said Winyard. “Engineers change the world.”

The Engineering Design I course takes place each fall semester and is a requirement for engineering majors during their first year.

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