Senior Design

The electrical engineering and computer engineering undergraduate degree programs both culminate in a three-semester capstone design experience that gives all of our graduates hands-on experience in the design, assembly, and testing of a detailed technical project.  These team-based projects also give our students the invaluable opportunity to practice the interpersonal skills essential to future success.

Senior Design Project Highlight

Photo of Dean Dolling, Zachary McNulty, Christopher Long, and Paul Azzi

  

In 2018, the team of graduating seniors Zachary McNulty, Christopher Long, and Paul Azzi won the department’s senior design award for their project, “Autonomous Tracking Vehicle.”  Their project abstract describes the purpose and design of the Autonomous Tracking Vehicle:

“The purpose of the Autonomous Tracking Vehicle is to carry cumbersome loads for handicapped individuals and follow them through areas where a wheelchair is expected to go. The entire system will consist of a vehicle frame and motors, a container meant to hold the load, sensors and a camera meant to collect data from the immediate area in order to avoid obstacles and track the user, and a central control unit to process sensor data, manage power distribution, and communicate with the user’s phone application. Moreover, the vehicle will also be able to communicate with a phone application in order to alert the user to errors and display its current status. The phone application will also allow the user to manually control the vehicle using a control pad on the phone’s display as well as to switch between the devices the vehicle is connected to.”


A graphic with inputs of Color Tag, Obstacles, User input to Phone Application, Battery, and Object to Carry to vehicle control, motor control, qr tracking, object avoidance, and app communications with outputs of Vehicle Movement, App Notification, and Object transported


Another example of a 2018 senior design project is the Price Reactive Energy Storage System (PRESS) project, designed by graduating seniors Will Horowitz and Graham Feldman, and described in their project abstract:

“The purpose of the Price Reactive Energy Storage Systems (PRESS) is to save on electricity expenditure by buying energy at the lowest cost and selling at higher price. PRESS allows for the sale and purchase of energy between an electrical grid and battery storage unit. The system utilizes general usage data about the grid from which it is drawing as well as consumption data to determine when to sell or buy electricity. User control can be used to override autonomous control. This data is passed to an integrated unit (microcontroller) which directly interfaces with the battery unit. In addition to controlling whether to charge or discharge, the microcontroller monitors data from the battery. Temperature data is collected in order to prevent overheating as well as the level of charge the battery currently holds.”


Graphic of Inputs: Price/User data, temperature data, time. P.R.E.S.S. Price Reactive Energy Storage System: Power system reports status (charge lvl, temp., etc.) to application which uses data and pricing information to direct the hardware on how to behave. outputs of buy/sell charge/discharge, power on/off, hw control