BSE seniors rise to Rapid Design Challenge




BSE seniors rise to Rapid Design Challenge

Calendar Icon Sep 11, 2015          RSS Feed RSS

Senior biological systems engineering students prepare their entry before competing in the Rapid Design Challenge on Sept. 11 at Splinter Labs.
Senior biological systems engineering students prepare their entry before competing in the Rapid Design Challenge on Sept. 11 at Splinter Labs.
The 53 biological systems engineering students in the senior design course got an early of what to expect from their senior design projects when they competed on Sept. 11 in the Rapid Design Challenge at Splinter Labs.

The students were assigned to 13 different teams and given the same task -- in a three-week span, to design a device that would deliver 60cc of water through a syringe over a five-minute period, consistently delivering 12cc per minute. They were given a budget of $25 per team and allowed to shop for the materials needed to build the device.

Teams were graded on the functionality and innovation of their design and on how well it performed in both average amount of water delivered per minute and the standard deviation from the goal rate.

Taking first place, and gift certificates to the UNL Dairy Store, was the team of Christopher Davidson, Samantha Nelson, Jai Sahni and Halle Swann. Their device - featuring a sprinkler head and housing unit with a spring inside - was mounted on a pole. It conveyed an average of 11.654cc per minute and was the most consistent of all the entries.

"We were thinking of using a spring-loaded plunger and actually came across this in a garage," Swann said. "The housing was perfect for what we were doing and it held the spring in place."

Learning the amount and types of organization that are necessary in design projects will be beneficial for each student as they go through the yearlong process of designing their senior project and, eventually, in the professional world, Sahni said.

"Good record keeping, that was one of the things that was our focus, and it really paid off," Sahni said. "I could see in a company how that would be beneficial because you have to be able to be able to explain to your superiors what's going on."