N.C. A&T Mechanical Engineering Design Team Recognized for Best Engineering Design Process

By Alexander Saunders / 07/16/2021 Research and Economic Development, College of Engineering

EAST GREENSBORO, N.C. (July 16, 2021) – Four recent mechanical engineering graduates from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University won the 2021 Sandia Senior Design Bonanza Best Engineering Design Process award for their senior capstone design. In 2020, the first year that Sandia sponsored the mechanical engineering project at A&T, the seniors were named most innovative.

While many of the College of Engineering’s senior design projects encourage students to build on previous team successes, Sandia issued a new challenge each year. The competing teams were tasked with a two-prong problem for this year’s competition: develop a launch detection device and protect the payload.

Reece Gamble was one of the four team members on the project. He chose this challenge because it was less clear than the other capstone projects what solutions would be needed. To Gamble, this would help him use everything he learned during his four-year degree.

“The most rewarding aspect of this senior design project was finding a solution using what I learned throughout my years studying engineering, especially using Arduino, which I learned in my introduction to engineering class,” said Gamble. “The team won best design process because each member had a hand in and could speak to every facet of the design, working seamlessly together to present a creative solution for a real-world problem.”

The team was constrained to design a device roughly the size of a chicken egg. In one compact unit it needed to detect threats, measure temperature and pressure, and be able to protect itself. During the fall semester the team researched design capabilities, and by the spring, they were modeling an assortment of designs by integrating Arduino and Tinkercad.

“When companies like Sandia invest in partnerships with the college comprised of experiential and professional development opportunities for our students, the result is a win-win for all parties,” said Tamera Ziglar, COE senior director of development.

Team members included Reece Gamble, Isaiah Hicks, Miguel Valle and William Taggart. Mookesh Dhanasar, Ph.D., advised the senior project for the past two years. Dhanasar is a lecturer in the mechanical engineering department and will become a teaching associate professor in fall. Next year, David Schall, Ph.D., assistant professor of mechanical engineering, will serve as mentor on the project.

Media Contact Information: uncomm@ncat.edu

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