An app that will help the new computer builder, electronically adjustable crutch and drone called “The Octocopter” are just a few of the ideas engineered and built by students competing in this year’s Senior Design Project Showcase. Seniors at CSUN’s College of Engineering and Computer Science present their projects for review by industry professionals, just a few weeks before their graduation.
This year’s event, which takes place May 5 at the University’s Student Center, is the 13th annual showcase. This is the first in-person after two years online, due to the pandemic. Students work in teams in their senior year on capstone projects, final assignments for majors in engineering and computer science. Student groups regularly enter their projects in national and international competitions.
At the May showcase, more than 20 teams competed for prizes with their project displays and oral presentations made to showcase judges. Categories include civil engineering and construction management, computer science, electrical and computer engineering, manufacturing systems engineering and management, and mechanical engineering. Entries were judged by more than 20 industry professionals, most of them CSUN alumni.
Computer science major Ryan Santillan worked with four teammates on “ComputerStarter,” a multimedia app designed to teach users how to build their own computers. The team hopes to discover the experience of making computers, Santillan said. He added that there are many benefits to the do-it-yourself approach.
“If a part is old and a bit outdated, you can just replace it and that’s a huge advantage,” Santillan said.
The team members behind “Cruxmatic” aim to create a smart and electronically adjustable crutch. The crutch can accommodate changing loads, creating an easier and smoother walking experience for users. Team member Teny Shahjahanian has always used a crutch for a knee injury, so this project immediately appealed to him, he said. The team experience has been a positive one, he said.
“We are very open – we have a delegative management style,” Shahjahanian said. “We all have our own parts, all semester.”
A $ 1,000 grand prize for demonstrating the project was awarded to the CSUN Aeronautics team from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, for its design of an autonomous aircraft and ground vehicle system to combat wildfires.
$ 500 prizes were also given to teams from each department, for oral presentations and project demonstrations.