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Engineering majors get experience with real-world projects

Together, 21 freshman engineering majors have stepped up to the plate to use their skills and knowledge to improve the community.

The future engineers have taken on four different projects spanning throughout the campus of MVNU, the Knox County community and the world.

Each of these projects is vital to the education of the engineering students.

Freshman Connor Whitaker led a team to design new flooring for MVNU’s Thorne Theater.

“The problem right now is that the Theater program is not allowed to do anything to the floors for shows, except put down painters tape,” Whitaker said. “They would like to change the color of the floor and make mounting sets easier.”

At the end of the semester, students in Whitaker’s group presented their ideas to Professor Ryan Long to see what will work best for improved theater flooring.

Freshman Jacob Brown also took leadership of a task right in his department. His group is working to fix the Engineering department’s 3-D printers.

At the beginning of the semester, both 3-D printers were out of commission. One of them did not even have a power light.

Now, both printers can be powered on with one in working condition.

“This project will help the Engineering Department use all of our current and upcoming 3-D printers to their maximum potential and allow us to learn the details of how a 3-D printer should work,” Brown said.

So far everything about the project has been extremely challenging, but rewarding at the same time, Brown said.

Freshman Hunter Blubaugh is leading another Engineering group that is working directly with Mount Vernon’s City Engineer. Blubaugh’s group will design and build a model stormwater diversion device for the city of Mount Vernon.

The fourth group, led by Tagg Edgell, is working to provide clean drinking water to those in Belize.

“We are currently gathering info and doing research on a few key aspects of our design, including materials, how we are going to procure them, where the testing is going to take place, and how the testing data is going to be gathered,” Edgell said.

The end goal of the Solar Still Data Project is to test and provide detailed data of a simple solar water distillation design.

Through these projects, engineering students will receive hands-on experience that will help prepare them for their future careers.

The MVNU engineering department offers both majors and minors in mechanical and electrical engineering.

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