Mechanical Engineering Team Wins Student Design Competition
From left: Faith Rowe, Zach Luther, Mason Leach, David Stoner and Michael Streitwieser competed against some of the nation's top engineering programs with the project they designed for Raytheon.
Team members Mason Leach, Zach Luther, Faith Rowe, David Stoner and Michael Streitwieser competed against some of the nation’s top engineering programs, including finalists from the University of Wisconsin, the University of Michigan and the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with a project they completed for their senior capstone design course in the UTDesign program.
The project, sponsored by Raytheon, focused on the development of an automated machine that places lids on small electronic packages and earned the team a $1,000 cash award at the competition.
“The team went above-and-beyond to deliver a project that exceeded their sponsor’s expectations,” said Dr. Robert Hart, mechanical engineering senior lecturer and capstone course instructor in the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science. “I’m pleased to see them receive this acknowledgement of their outstanding work.”
“Being recognized as the best in the country speaks to our students’ extremely high level of innovation, teamwork, dedication, creativity, technical skills and sacrifice. It’s been an honor to work with this team at the UTDesign Studio and watch what an example they’ve provided for the next generation of UTDesign engineers and computer scientists.”
The team built a prototype that removed the time-consuming manual lid placement operation from the testing portion of Raytheon’s manufacturing process. The newly created machine is expected to save $50,000 in labor per year, reduce the test time of each electronic package by 20 seconds, and increase the number of assembled electronic packages 50 percent each day.
The team worked closely with Raytheon mentor Victor Salazar on the project, with assistance from faculty advisor Dr. Terry Baughn, a senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, the UTDesign staff and machine shop personnel.
“Raytheon reached out to UTDesign and our team, and gave us a real-world challenge they faced on the production line,” Streitwieser said. “Through the project we loved it all — every second of learning, teaching, restarting and persevering as a team. Without our mentors Dr. Hart, Dr. Baughn and Victor Salazar from Raytheon, the project would not be where it is today. We are incredibly grateful for each of them, for Raytheon, and for the opportunity to succeed.”
Every engineering and computer science senior at UT Dallas is required to complete a team-oriented capstone project in the UTDesign program. Projects are proposed, sponsored and mentored by companies, and give students hands-on design experience and prepare them for the work world.
Rod Wetterskog, assistant dean of corporate relations for the Jonsson School and UTDesign program coordinator, works closely with corporate sponsors to foster mentor-student relationships and increase visibility for the program.
“Being recognized as the best in the country speaks to our students’ extremely high level of innovation, teamwork, dedication, creativity, technical skills and sacrifice,” he said. “It’s been an honor to work with this team at the UTDesign Studio and watch what an example they’ve provided for the next generation of UTDesign engineers and computer scientists.”
The competition, consisting of undergraduate and graduate projects, focused on original student designs for manufacturing engineering, including systems, components or processes for manufacturing, emerging materials and processes, and software and hardware solutions to improve productivity.
ASME competitions offer engineering and industry professionals new, creative perspectives on design and give students an opportunity to explore and share original and inventive concepts. Participating in the competition provided the UT Dallas team with a national forum to showcase its talents.
“Dedication, strong fundamentals, intellectual agility, and working on a good problem are key ingredients in one of the recipes for success,” said Dr. Mario Rotea, head of the mechanical engineering department and holder of the Erik Jonsson Chair. “The ASME recognition is quite prestigious.”
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