COES announces Freshman Design Expo winners

The Louisiana Tech University College of Engineering and Science held its annual Freshman Design Expo on Tuesday, May 14. At the Expo, teams of first-year engineering students presented prototypes of innovative products that they have developed over the course of the academic year.

Recycle Tank's team members Courtland Adaire, David Modlin, Dalton Tackett, and James Wilson brought home the Rolex Award.

Recycle Tank’s team members Courtland Adaire, David Modlin, Dalton Tackett, and James Wilson brought home the Rolex Award.

A key component of the hands-on Living with the Lab curriculum is a yearlong series of courses in which student teams conceptualize and build prototypes using Arduino microcontrollers. The Freshman Design Expo gives students a chance to communicate the details of their products to their fellow students, professors and the public.

This year, 88 teams of students presented projects, outlined concepts and explained hardware and software components, interfaces, capabilities, limitations, economic viability and future development plans. More than 100 volunteers, including alumni and community leaders, faculty, staff and students all served as judges and assisted with setup and logistics.

Projects were judged based on technical content, innovation, communication, broader impacts, creativity and teamwork. In addition to overall awards for the top projects, teams competed for the Rolex Award for the best constructed prototype, the Da Vinci Award for the most creative project, the Patent Pending Award for the most novel yet practical idea, the Shoot the Moon Award for a tough project that wasn’t completely functional and the Can-Do Award for the most difficult project that worked.

“The energy in the room at the Engineering Freshman Design Expo is infectious,” Dr. Krystal Corbett, freshman engineering programs coordinator and lecturer of mechanical engineering said. “The students are so excited by all that they have accomplished, starting in the Fall Quarter when they learn the basics of the microcontroller, culminating in the Spring Quarter when they are empowered to implement sensors and devices, troubleshoot, and problem solve on their own. We as faculty are so proud of the strides that they have made throughout the year, and we enjoy celebrating them in such a meaningful way at the Expo.”

The 2019 Freshman Design Expo awardees are as follows:

  • 1st Place Overall – The Smart H.A.N.D. (Matthew Blake, Allie Kumler, Alexis McCarthy and Pierce Miller)
  • 2nd Place Overall – Automatic Magazine Loader (Henry Cottom, Riley Killian, Jordan Lewis, Francisco Simoncini)
  • 3rd Place overall – Safety Shower (Evan Goldsmith and Brandon Vessel)
  • Rolex – Recycle Tank (Courtland Adaire, David Modlin, Dalton Tackett and James Wilson)
  • Da Vinci Award – Chess 2: The Electric Boogaloo (Luke Morreale, Andrew Steen and Wesley Venters)
  • Can-Do Award – Smart Fire Helmet (Mark Allen, Rodrigo Debrinez and Matthew Pozniak)
  • Shoot the Moon Award – Sixth Sense (Edie Martone, Austin Shelton)
  • Patent Pending Award – Pringlevator (Micah Haney, Tyler Nettleton and Garrett Trostle)