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MSU Engineering Celebrates 25 years of Design Day

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The Michigan State University College of Engineering celebrated a quarter-century of student creativity and innovation on Dec. 7, during 25 Years of Design Day– an event that has become the showcase of technical skill, experiential learning and collaboration each semester.

“Design Day in the MSU College of Engineering has evolved from a couple of mechanical engineering courses to the premier undergraduate event of the semester,” said Wayne Dyksen, Design Day Executive Director and professor of computer science and engineering. “It is a great event for students to exhibit the creative energy and talents that will one day shape business, industry and our communities.”

The College of Engineering ensures that design experiences are built into the curriculum for all students.

“From the first day our students arrive on campus until the day they walk across the stage at graduation – design is embedded into everything a Spartan engineering student does here at MSU,” Dyksen said. “Design Day helps us show off what we do and how we do it.”

Design Day incorporated projects from six degree programs and seven courses involving 440 students on 93 teams. The 15-week capstone course, which is required for graduation, provides a platform for students to apply the knowledge and experience gained throughout their engineering education at MSU. Working in teams of four or five, seniors put their best efforts into solving real-world problems for big and small companies and present their products at Design Day.

Some of the projects include:

  • MSU Recycling – Automated Waste Detection:Capstone teams from mechanical engineering and electrical and computer engineering developed an automated monitoring system to increase the efficiency of MSU’s waste management process. The result is a durable and weatherproof packaged sensor system that can be easily integrated into existing trash bins. The sensors detect the bin level and communicate with MSU Recycling’s existing software. The solution helps MSU Recycling monitor bins remotely and plan waste collection routes accordingly.
  • NASA/Arizona State University Neutral Flux Probe:Mechanical and electrical engineering students from MSU are working with a team at Arizona State University. They are collaborating on solar-electric Hall Effect Thrusters to design a probe capable of measuring the flux of neutrals inside vacuum test facilities. As the neutrals exit the plume of the thruster, it will cautiously move the probe on a metal-rich asteroid currently orbiting between Mars and Jupiter. NASA will launch the spacecraft in 2022 and anticipates it will reach the asteroid in 2026.
  • MSU – Water Treatment and Storage:Seven teams in civil and environmental engineering prepared a preliminary design for MSU’s proposed improvement to the campus water distribution system. Students explored the construction of a new water treatment plant and an elevated 2-million gallon water tower, being built south of Service Drive. Completion of the $18 million project is planned for spring 2020.
  • Aptiv – Autonomous Vehicle Fleet Connectivity App: Computer science and engineering students worked with Aptiv on an autonomous vehicle fleet connectivity app providing connectivity to Aptiv’s autonomous test fleet in the U.S., Europe and Asia. The app tells Aptiv where their cars are across several continents, who is driving them, and offers options for scheduling and availability. The app also displays a complete set of usage, reservation and diagnostic information.
  • Meijer – Shrink Reduction Using Blockchain:Computer science and engineering helped Meijer reduce product expiration for items like produce and dairy by creating a web app called Shrink Reduction Using Blockchain. The app helps Meijer by tracking products along the entire supply chain, from supplier to store. Shrink reduction alerts help Meijer decide which products should be put on shelves based on expiration dates. As a result, more products are sold before their expiration dates, thereby reducing shrink.
  • Herman Miller – FIBRE: Fabric Identification Based Recommendation Engine:Computer science and engineering students helped Herman Miller, an office and home furniture company, with the creation of FIBRE: Fabric Identification Based Recommendation Engine. Using computer vision and machine learning, FIBRE classifies fabrics, automatically detecting color and pattern and eliminating the current process of manually searching existing catalog of fabrics. FIBRE reduces the number of fabric options from thousands to a few by detecting color and patterns.

See the team members and their projects in the Fall 2018 Design Day project booklet.

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